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YEAR 1866. 



459 Broome Street. 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by 

Hurd and Houghton, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of 

New York. 

riverside, Cambridge: 






Leavenworth. — Kansas — Travel in the Olden Time. — The City. — 
Streets. — Cathedral. — Kansas in 1851. — Buildings. — Hotels. — 
Young Towns. — Young America. — Metropolitan Airs. — Fort 
Leavenworth. — History. — Site. — Reservation. — Ox Trains. — 
Symmetrical Cattle. — Santa Fe" Trail. — Our Route ... 1 


The Prairies; their Grandeur. — Northern Kansas. — Soil. — Farm- 
ing. — Last Towns. — Stage Station. — Geology. — Prairie-carpet. 

— Wild Flowers. — Prairie Rose. — Birds. — Story of a Quarter- 
master. — Ox and Mule Teams 5 


Storm. — Gentle Zephyrs. — Nice Country. — Cease, rude Boreas. — 
Wind vs. Fruit-trees. — Stone. — Tufa. — Long March. — Eques- 
trianism. — Advice. — Ugly Customer. — Pistols. — An Advent- 
ure. — Little Blue. — Vegetation. — Change of Soil. — Bread and 
Stone. — Charming Picture . . 11 



Buffalo. — Antelope. 7- A Race.— Wild Bill. — Platte Valley.— 
Pawnees. — Ranch. — Adobe. — Fort Kearney. — Kearney City. 

— Sam Hyde. — Platte River. — Emigrant Trains. — Pilgrims. — 
Pacific Railroad 1G 


Pacific Railroad. — Platte River. — Etymology. — Thousand 
Islands. — Land of the Indian. — Gentle Savage; likes Treaties. 



— Reason why. — Savage Cruelty. — Ranchmen. — Fighting it 
out on this Line. — Tree, Child and Mother. — Distance lends En- 
chantment. — Cactus 24 


Fort McPherson. — Hills of the Platte. — Birds. — Game. — Sioux 
or Dakotah? — Chippewa. — Jack Morrow. — Spotted Tail. — 
Brules. — Salt Lake Freight Train. — Soda-water. — Thermome- 
ter. — Flowers and Facts. — O'Fallon's Bluff. — Sunset and Sun- 
rise. — America rs. Italy. — Graves. — Touching Inscription. — 
Tomb in the Wilderness. — Acres of Cactus. — The Cross. — Pagan 
or Christian? 29 


Fort Sedgwick. — Routes Diverge. — Garrison. — Bear Buttes. — 
Bare Beauties. — Platte and Nile. — Irrigation. — Water and 
Wood. — Struck by Lightning — Electrical Experiment. — Cactus. 
-Birds 36 


Iowa Emigrants. — Storm. — Hark the Lark. — Sioux Outrages — 
Delectable Mountains. — City of the Sun. — Fort Wicked. — In- 
dian Siege. — Defeated Savage. — A Frontiersman. — Hints on 
Fortifications. — Vauban and Carmontaine. — How very Knowing! 

— Glory of Solomon. — Squatters' Titles. — Rattlesnakes. —Ne- 
braska. — Patagonia. — Manners and Customs. — Strike your 
Tents 40 



Camp Wardwell. — Emigrant Trains. — Cut off. — Rocky Mountains. 

— Jefferson and Virginia. — Long's IVak. — Alps. — Snowy 
Ridge. — First Impressions. — Mont Blanc. — Alpine or American V 

— European Scenery. — Home Scenery. — My Native Land. — 
Spanish Bayonet. — Pictures and Landscapes. — Camp Fire. — 

The Sergeant's Story. — Fort Yuma. — Hot Post .... 48 


Denver. — Plain and Mountain. — Position. — Population. — Patri- 
otic Census. — Ranch Eggs. — Acequia. — Cien Aquas. — Pre- 
emption. — Squatter Sovereignty. — Loyal Denver. — Free Moun- 
taineers. — Stars and Stripes. — Bars. — Exit Rebel ... 55 




Horses. — Immigration. — Golden Gate. — Up the Mountain. — 
Golden City. — Mountain Road. — Canned Fruit. — Mountain 
Scenery. — Gulch Mining. — Gold Hunter. — Black Hawk. — 
Central City. — Mining Companies; how many. — Quartz- 
Crushers. — Trotter and Madame Velours. — Smelting Furnaces. 

— Price of Labor and Freight. — Smelting. — Lyon & Co. — 
Colorado Mines ; their Wealth — Prospects 00 


Depth of Mines. — Perpendicular Vein. — Desulphurizing. — New 
Process. — Does Mining Pay V — Virginia Cafion. — Artist in 
Nubibus. — Idaho. — Hot Soda Bath. — Scenery. — Rocky Moun- 
tain Farms. — Denver again. — An Outfit. — Waterfall that came 
over me. — "Biled Shirt" — Colorado and the Veto ... 7*? 


Big Pinery. — Jim Runnels. — Ephemeral Outfit. — Leutze's Picture. 

— Pike's Peak. — Its Discovery. — Atmospheric Deception. — 
Pike's Journal. — So near and yet so far! — Fading, still Fading. 

— Chasing a Mountain. — Altitude. — Lightning-struck . . 77 


Garden of the Gods. — Monument Creek. — Arcadian Vale. — Rock 
Palaces. — Marble Halls. — Stone Eagle. — Rivulet. — Monumental 
Statuary. — Titanic Walls. — Naiad and Dryad. — Gold !— Col- 
orado City. — Nice quiet Place. — Farms. — Irrigation. — Pet An- 
telope. — Bachelors. — Anathema. — Dry Creek. — Soda Spring. 

— Pueblo. — Retro-progressive. — Rolling Iser. — Poet Campbell. 

— Cottonwoods. — Arkansas River 85 



Ruly, Long & Co. — Dardanelles. — Picket Wire; its Origin. — 
French without a Master. — Spanish Peaks. — Elevation. — Limpid 
Air. — Delightful Climate. — Mountain Breeze. — Grand View. — 
Fisher's Peak. — A Promenade. — Trinidad. — Mexican Fair Sex. 

— Raton Pass. — Mesas. — A " States' Wife." .... 93 


The Ocate\ — Sheep. — Mesas. — Existence of Arkansas. — Missis- 
sippi and Louisiana accounted for. — Terra-transmutation. — Short 



Stirrups. — Bedouin and Camanche. — Fort Union. — Indian 
Fight. — Mexican Agriculture. — Picketed Pig. — Architecture. — 
Mora. — Baile. — Light Fantastic. — Mexican Belles. — Vino-Vino. 

— Sawemoff. — St. Vrain. — Micawber Kedivivus . . .101 


Farms in New Mexico. — Mora Church. — The Natives. — Las 
Vegas. — Gen. Kearney. — Canons. — Tecalote. — Yashmak V — 
Pastoral. — Assassination. — San Jost?. — Pecos Valley. — Ruins. 

— Apache Canon. — Two Battles. — Arroyo Hondo. — Valley of 

the Rio Grande. — Santa Fe ' 110 


Programme. — Full Measure. — Down the Valley. — Galisteo. — 
San Felipe. — Pueblos. — A Gallop. — Arcadia. — A Picture. — 
Algodones. — Apache Woman. — Indian Slaves. — Demostheneeze. 

— Zandia. — Glimpses of Italy. — Bernalillo. — Rio Abajo. — 
Mexican Plow and Cart. — Wine. — Barefoot Beauty. — The In- 
visible 117 


Albuquerque. — Fahrenheit & Co. — Church Music, 10(ifi-18G6. — 
French Deserters. — Zunis. — Navajoes. — Festivities. — Leave 
the Gay Scene. — Moonlight Ride. — El Canon Infierno. — 
Tejeres. — Flacer. — Camp in the Pines. — Old Gold Mine. — El 
Tuerto. — Magnificent View. — Realde Dolores. — Ancient Pueblo. 

— Petrifactions. — Return to Santa Fe 125 


History. — Bonillo. — Oiiate. — Otermin. — Insurrection. — Reeon- 
qucst. — The Archives. — Pilgrim and Jesuit. — Englishman and 
Spaniard. — Materials for History. — Soldiers and Franciscans. — 
Dominguez. — Escalante. — Bargas. — Church Records . . 135 


New Mexico under Spain. — Under the Republic. — Governors. — 
Military Commander. — Captain-General. — Civil and Military 
Governor. — Gefe Politico. — Territorial Appointments . . . 143 


Santa l'i'. — Situation. — Population. — Houses. — Egypt and An 
dalusia, — Plaza. — Alfalfa.— Public Buildings. — Cathedral. — 



Acequias. — Burro Factotum. — Markets. — Price Current. — 
Pueblo Indians. — Game. — Vegetables. — Chile Verde. — Onions. 
— Chile Colorado 151 


An Old Country. — Agriculture. — Tools. — Plows. — Carts. — 
Yokes. — Gee-Haw. — Young Mexico. — Farming. — Cultivation. 
Irrigation. — Acequias. — Laws to Protect. — Manures. — Imple- 
ments. — Domestic Animals. — Gramma Grass. — New Mexican 
Wine 158 


Manners and Customs. — Confusing. — Hasty Judgment. — Rule and 
Exception. — Intelligent Traveller. — Equestrian Politeness. — 
Double Riding. — Duplex Elliptic. — Native Grace. — Dress. — 
Reboso. — Serape 167 


Gold Mines of New Mexico. — Minerals. — History. — Placers and 
Washings. — Pinos Altos. — San Juan. — Mexican Mining. — 
Primitive Work. — Ramirez Mine. — Ortiz. — San Pedro. — San 
Miguel. — Silver Mines. — San Adelia. — Stevenson. — Copper 
Mines. — Hanover. — Santa Rita. — Jemez. — Iron. — Coal. — Ka- 
olin. — Porcelain Clay. — Salt for All. — Precious Stones. — Tur- 
quoise. — Garnet. — Agates. — Chalcedony. — Mineral Springs ; 
Hot, Warm, Iron 170 


Santa Fe" Theatre. — Scenery. — Dresses. — Decorations. — King of 
Arragon. — Lady in Black Velvet. — Marriage Arrangement. — 
Antagonistic Documents. — Dramatic Imbroglio. — Wedding. — 
Female Deceit. — John Brown. — Our American Cousin. — Gran 
Funcion. — Victor Hugo. — Bailes. — Classification. — Las Way- 
fas Americanas. — Social Question. — Delicate Subject. — Amer- 
icans in Mexico 180 


Religious Freedom. — Catholic Religion. — Mexican Clergy. — Short 
Funeral Discourse. — Dr. Watts. — Church Decorations. — Re- 
forms. — Mass and Fandango. — Protestant Missions; Episcopal, 
Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist. — Masonic Lodge. — Odd Fel- 
lows. — Cemetery. — Education. — Christian Brothers. — Sisters 
of Charity. — Sisters of Loretto. — Florence Nightingale. — 
Marching on 189 




Pueblo Indians: Who are they? — Mexican History. — Pueblo 
Villages. — Houses. — Buildings. — Charles V. — Royal Decrees. 

— Edicts of the Emperor. — Pueblo Origin. — Races. — Mexican. 

— Etruscan. — Pelasgic. — Previous Question. — Open Question. 

— Pueblo Tradition. — Pecos. — Sacred Fire. — Montezuma. — 
Language. — Dialects. — Vocabulary. — Population. — Spanish 
Official Reports, 1796 and 1798. — Governor Chacon, 1799.— 
Alencaster, 1805. — Whipple's Pacific Railroad Report. — Cuya- 
mangue. — Chilili. — Galasteo. — San Domingo. — Sandia. — 
Abandoned Pueblos. — San Marcos. — Tabular Statement. — Pu- 
eblo Law. — Killing no Murder. — Religion. — Catholic-Pagan ? — 
Montezuma. — Education. — The Messiah. — Mexican Legend. — 
Agriculture. — Wheat Fields. — Harvesting. — A Picture. — Vases. 

— Jars. — Vernet. — Navajoes. — Costume. — Roman Toga . 195 


An American Hero. — American History. — A New Chapter. — Ex- 
ploring Expedition. — American Prisoner. — Highly Confidential. 

— Expedition starts. — Missouri. — Osage. — Pawnees. — Arkan- 
sas. — Pike's Peak. — Rocky Mountains. — Which River? — In- 
vasion. — Dragoons. — Prisoner. — Geographical Mistake. — Our 
Flag. — Ugly Customer. — Stockade Fort. — Rio Conejos. — Ojo 
Caliente. — Governor Alencaster. — Animated Conversation. — 
Spaniard and American. — Off for Chihuahua. — General Salcedo. 

— Spain and the United States — Burr's Conspiracy. — Spanish 
Expedition. — Pawnees. — Red River. — Centralization. — Pike's 
Papers. — Salcedo's Letter. — Diplomacy. — That little Bill. — 
Mexican Treaty 234 


Kit Carson. — Characteristics. — Conversations. — Carson on Stir- 
rups. — Grizzly Bears. — Indian Fighting. — Father De Smedt. — 
A Good Shot. — Indian Treaties. — New Mexico. — Iroquois. — 
California Indians. — Carson Flanked. — His Family. — American 
Influence. — Society in Santa Fi\ — Family Influence. — Ameri- 
can Ladies. — Slavery. — Peonage. — Wagons. — Commerce. — 
Manufactures. — Gerga 246 


Old Pecos Church. — Pueblo Ruins. — Sacred Fire. — Snake. — Mon- 
tezuma. — Remarkable Building. — Pueblo Land Title. — Pueblo 
Honesty. — Architecture. — Adobes century old. — Estufa. — Ro- 
man Ruins. — Reflections 255 




French Deserters. — Las Vegas. — Fort Union. — Duty of Quarter- 
masters. — Home Again. — Our Road. — Arizona. — Poetry. — 
Captain Burgwin. — Canons. — Geological Paradise. — Colorado 
of the West. — Canons in St. Louis. — Ancient Geography. — 
Wagon Mound. — Death-struggle. — Indian Murders. — Sad 
Story. — Victim and Martyr. — Lo ! the Poor Indian. — Cooper and 
Chateaubriand. — Ruined Fort. — Lame Ox. — Prairie Wolves. — 
Society Wolves 259 


The Cimarron. — Wagon Trains. — Morning Astronomy. — Procion. 

— Orion. — Aldebaran. — Sirius the Glorious. — Koh-i-noor. — A 
Nor'wester. — Buffalo. — The Hunt. — Passage of the Arkansas. — 

Ah! quel plaisir d'etre Soldat! 271 


Plains' Menagerie. — Prairie-dog: Is he a Dog? — His Habits. — 
Rattlesnakes and Owls. — How many Dogs V — Do they Drink ? — 
Horned Frogs. — Lizards. — Doves. — La Gazza Ladra. — Dog out 
of Fashion. — Buffalo. — Another Chase. — Horses for Buffalo. — 
Wounded Buffalo. — One more Unfortunate. — Blaze. — Prairie 
Veal. — Last Buffalo-hunt. — Comparative Anatomy. — Golgotha. 

— Trade in Buffalo-skins. — Last of the Wampanoags . . 275 


"Ye Gentel Salvage." — Navajoes; their Numbers. — Civilization. 

— Centuries of Plunder. — Our Experience. — Copper-colored Tal- 
leyrands. — Caught a Tartar. — Treaties. — General Carleton. — 
Trying it on. — Last Chance. — Big Talk. — On the War Path. — 
Kit Carson. — A Fight. — Result. — Disgusted Indian. — Bosque 
Redondo. — Navajoe Manufactures. — Beautiful Blankets. — Apa- 
ches. — Mescaleros. — Jicarillas. — Gilas. — Utes. — Old and 
Young Kaniatse. — La Vendetta. — Todos Soldados ! — Black 
Eagle. — Kioways. — A Stampede. — Indian Treaties. — Le Vol 
c'est la Propriety. — Ladies ride a- straddle. — Punishment. — Kit 
Carson. — Camanches 283 


Cimarron Crossing. — " Oh Dim ! " — Price of Wood. — Battle- 
ground. — Bone-yard. — Fort Dodge. — Green Trees. — Indian 


Traders — High Art. — Monsieur Blot. — Gastronomy. — Arrapa- 
hoe Banquet. — Puppy au Naturel. — Chien en Robe de Chambre. 
— Not any! — Prairie on Fire. — Serenade. — Sal Sapientiae. — 
Pictures. — Civilization — Junction City. — Fort Riley. — Valley 
of the Kaw. — Manhattan. — Wauinega. — Love of a Bonnet. — 
Pottowattomies. — Grasshoppers. — St. Louis. — King Death. — 
Requiem. — Farewell 293 



Leavenworth, Kansas, June 1, 1866. 

Within the memory of living men, the adventur- 
ous traveller from the Atlantic cities to the Great 
West made his outfit and start, first from Schenec- 
tady, then Chambersburg, then Clarksburg (Va.). 
Later came Limestone (now Maysville), Kaskaskia, 
St. Louis, and Independence. Now even Leaven- 
worth is getting too far East, and soon the iron rail 
will clamp East and West together, leaving neither 
plains nor savage frontier for dangerous wayfaring 
and exciting adventure with horse and rifle. 

There are many officers still in service who, being 
ordered from St. Louis to Fort Leavenworth, have 
considered themselves fortunate in reaching their 
destination in sixteen days. We have just made 
the same trip in twenty-six hours. 

Leavenworth claims for her correct census 25,000 
inhabitants. On inquiry, I am satisfied that the 
place may be fairly credited with a population of 
20,000, of which 15,000 may be classed as perma- 
nent and 5000 as floating. Immense numbers of 
teams and wagons for transportation of merchan- 
dise and Government stores to Utah, New Mexico, 


Nebraska, and Montana, are fitted out here, giving 
employment to a small army of drivers, mechanics, 
and contractors. The town is well and handsomely 
built. Judging from the well-graded avenues and 
flagged gutters, I should say its municipal affairs 
were in good hands. The naming of cross streets 
after the Kickapoo, Delaware, Dakotah, and -other 
Indian tribes, is a pleasing variation from First, 
Second, Third. The stores and shops are almost 
metropolitan in their stock and variety. Three daily 
papers, well supported, give an idea of importance 
and activity. 

On a high and commanding site, a Catholic cathe- 
dral of substantial brick is now going up, and is 
almost ready for roofing. Judging by the eye, I 
should say its size was one hundred and eighty feet 
by ninety. Bishop Miege, who is to officiate in it, 
has been a missionary in Kansas since 1851, at 
which period there were not five white men within 
its boundaries. Material for building seems to be 
plenty and put to good use, as several edifices, stores 
and dwellings, attest. Of hotels there is no lack, and 
Leavenworth, too, has its Tremont, Everett, Planters', 
and Astor. Alas, there are no longer any rustic vil- 
lages with a single tavern and simple population! 

Our young towns, like our young children, are 
scarcely fledged before they are full grown. The 
children assume old manners and the small towns 
put on city airs. Every little place must have its 
" Metropolitan," its " Varieties," and its " saloons," 
just as every boy must smoke his cigar and play 
billiards, and ev.ery girl of fifteen wear the silk and 
diamonds which, in countries of high civilization, are 
only awarded to matronly maturity. 


Fort Leavenworth lies three miles north of the 
city. It was established as a post in 1827, and 
called Cantonment Leavenworth, after the com- 
manding officer of the Third Infantry, who built its 
first huts. A part of the same regiment now garri- 
sons the place, and the present post commander, 
Colonel Hoffman, was on duty there in 1828 as 
Second Lieutenant. The position is fine, on a high 
bluff of the Missouri River, commanding a beautiful 
view of the Iowa shore and surrounding country. 

The reservation in which the fort stands, some 
miles square, extends to the edge of the town and 
has excited the cupidity of politicians and specula- 
tors to a high degree. About the period of the Fort 
Snelling swindle — the palmy days of the noble, 
disinterested Floyd — a nice little plan was on foot 
for its sale. 

Returning to town I passed numbers of the ox 
trains used in freighting merchandise to New Mex- 
ico. They are remarkable, each wagon team con- 
sisting of ten yokes of fine oxen, selected and ar- 
ranged not only for drawing but for pictorial effect, 
in sets of twenty, either all black, all white, all 
spotted, or otherwise marked uniformly. 

Each set of twenty oxen draws from 6500 to 
8000 pounds, and makes the journey from Leaven- 
worth to Santa Fe" at the contract rate of seven 
miles per day. Thereby hangs a tale which I have 
not time to tell at present, having special business 
with saddlers and outfitters. We start in the morn- 
ing ; but not by the Santa Fe trail. That route 
has no longer the charm of novelty. What say you 
to a different, circuitous, and far more interesting 
route? — a route that will take us through Kansas, 


Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico — returning 
by the Rio Grande, Pecos, and Arkansas Rivers, with 
a glimpse at Denver, the gold mines, Pike's Peak, 
and a slice of the dreaded Llano Estacado by way 
of relish — a matter of some twenty-four hundred 
miles ? 


Banks of the Little Blue River, Kansas, June 7, 1866. 

Little Blue is a branch of the Big Blue — a 
branch of the Kaw or Kansas — a branch of the 
Missouri; latitude 40i ; longitude 98]. "And 
there," as Dr. Marigold remarks, " you have me." I 
rather lay stress upon the river portion of my date, 
for here in this endless monotony of prairie, a river 
with its trees and green fringes of bushes, is a lovely 
and refreshing spectacle. 

After a week on these boundless stretches of herb- 
age, the main impression left is that you have here- 
tofore had but a limited idea of territorial grandeur. 
Upon them all the armies of the earth might review, 
manoeuvre, fight, and even retreat without danger of 
being found, if they chose to remain beyond the ho- 
rizon line. Kingdoms could be carved out of them, 
and dozens of principalities made up out of the par- 
ings and slicings. 

You ride a week, and move rapidly too, and from 
daybreak to sunset, as you pass on, the grand prairie 
spreads out before you, behind, right and left, — 
stretching to the horizon, apparently boundless. 
The sight from the White Mountains, from the 
Righi, or from any other picturesque " coign of van- 
tage," is a mere matter of kaleidoscope and child's 
play to it. 

The view of these prairies is often compared to 


that of the sea, and the comparison is correct. 
There is the same boundless sweep to the eye, with 
rolling waves of green from horizon to horizon — the 
same undulating play of sunshine and shade on its 
face — the same solitude — the same solemn and si- 
lent grandeur. And the resemblance in its features 
of life are not dissimilar. A distant wagon is a sail, 
and wrecks strew its strands as they do the ocean's 
shores. Bones of animals that have perished by the 
wayside line the route, and, of themselves, tell you 
of the scores of thousands that have passed on this 
great highway to the Pacific. After leaving Leav- 
enworth, you notice them every mile or two. Soon 
they become more numerous, and now we pass 
them, carcasses and bones of oxen and mules, at 
very short intervals. 

The first hundred miles (the whole distance from 
Leavenworth to Fort Kearney is two hundred and 
ninety-four miles) of the route, is to some extent 
through a settled country. The soil, black as your 
hat, is so rich that the earth looks as though it 
would laugh if you tickled it. New farms are evi- 
dently increasing rapidly, as the road itself shows.* 
Being public domain, travellers have followed the 
most favorable undulations of the ground, without 
reference to the quantity of land covered. But as 
new farms are made, we find ourselves sent right or 
left, down hill or up, by the inclosure of the old 
route. We passed many newly fenced fields that 
have taken in large sections of the road. 

I have not seen Southern Kansas, which, I am 
told, is far superior to Northern Kansas. It must be 
a beautiful country, for the northeast corner of the 
State, through which I passed, is sufficiently fertile 


to satisfy any reasonable man. It is impossible, too, 
that farming can be more remunerative anywhere 
else, for the farmer can sell at his own door, and at 
city prices, every thing he can raise. 1 I met a young 
man driving an ox team, yesterday, who had just 
been up to Fort Kearney to sell his corn at a dollar 
and a half per bushel. He and his brother cultivate 
fifteen acres of ground, all in corn, and for the past 
two years have sold what they do not use at the rate 
of about six hundred dollars per annum. He told 
me he was from Dutchess County, New York, and 
has lived in Southern Nebraska for eight years. 

The towns and villages rapidly diminish as you 
approach the Nebraska frontier. Seneca, Nemaha 
County, and Marysville, Marshall County, are the 
last two, and are both nice and thriving villages 
of some six hundred inhabitants each. Marshall 
County has five hundred voters. 

As yet we have not passed a single town in 
Nebraska, nor, I might say, even a farm proper. 
Things already begin to take a California or New 
Mexico tinge, and a house is now a ranch, consist- 
ing, generally, of a log building roofed with earth 
and grass, an adjoining inclosure, palisaded with 
heavy sticks of wood, and a well. There are but 
few of them, — mostly stations of the Overland 
Stage Company, — all having an air of half dwell- 
ing, half castle ; not without reason, for as late as 
August, 1864, they were burnt by the Indians, as far 
as the Little Blue. 

As well as I could observe, without leaving the 
road, the hills we have passed appear to be of car- 

1 Until yesterday I had been paying five cents a glass (one half pint) for 
milk : since getting into Nebraska we pay ten. 


boniferous limestone, stratified horizontally, and 
corning out occasionally on the water-courses in 
prominent escarpments. As we advance, the lime- 
stone becomes more ferruginous and the groves of 
hickory and white and black walnut on the banks of 
streams less frequent. Yesterday a part of the prai- 
rie we passed over was strewn with masses of por- 
pliyritic granite and pebbles of quartz and porphyry. 

The beautiful prairie carpet is, at this season, va- 
riegated with a rich collection of wild flowers — the 
rose, pink, phlox, cluster lily (which here grows sin- 
gle), the amorpha in full bloom, large and luxuriant, 
while near the streams we find digitalis, Oenothera 
with its bright, yellow flowers, and a species of mal- 

The prairie-rose is abundant to profusion, and 
gave rise to a spirited discussion in camp last night 
— one claiming it to be a sweet-briar, another the 
prairie-rose; " for," argued he, "if a rose that grows 
on the prairie is not a prairie-rose, I should like to 
know what is ? " 

And we have birds to enliven our progress. The 
road is alive with the mule-bird, whip-poor-will, 
doves, plover, and meadow lark. Of grouse, or prai- 
rie chicken, we have scared up a dozen or two. 
They are, of course, more shy than the others, but 
off the road and out in the prairie the hunter would, 
doubtless, find them more abundant. I speak of 
Kansas, for we have not seen one in Nebraska. 

The solitude of these prairies is often spoken 
of. They are solitary, but not the road over them, 
which is as populous and active as any great high- 
way in the country. You are scarcely ever out of 
sight of wagons — one, two, three, four yoke ox 


teams, and one and two span mule teams. And 
this reminds me of a story I promised to tell, in con- 
nection with the remarkable twenty-ox teams men- 
tioned in my last. As ever in the Santa Fe trade, a 
high official in Washington expressed great dissatis- 
faction at the dilatoriness of the Quartermasters at 
Fort Leavenworth in starting transportation out in 
the spring. He did not appear to know that, until 
the grass grows on the Plains, the animals cannot be 
fed, and, consequently, cannot be sent out. They 
were always started about the middle of May, but 
that, he declared, would never do. He insisted on 
their starting the middle of April — came out him- 
self and made the contracts accordingly — very easi- 
ly finding the contractor that suited him. Having 
written triumphantly to Washington that he had 
revolutionized the whole system of transportation 
contracts, and proportionately pleased with himself, 
he happened to ride out to Salt Creek, three miles 
from Leavenworth, about the second week of May, 
and there, to his astonishment and disgust, found 
encamped his teams, that he supposed a month on 
the road to Santa Fe ! They had started, just as 
they agreed to ! 

The average daily time by the Government con- 
tract, by ox teams, is seven miles. I should rather 
say it is the minimum time. The mule teams con- 
tract for twelve. Private enterprise is proverbially 
ahead of Government, and the result of my inquiries 
among more than a hundred wagoners whom I have 
conversed with on the road is, that their ox teams, 
loading five thousand pounds and upward, average 
sixteen, and the mules eighteen to twenty miles per 
day. The teams are of four, six, or eight oxen. 


One man, who has crossed the Plains fourteen times, 
had a train of seven wagons, drawn by two oxen 
each, and told me that he made twenty-five miles 
per day. I am satisfied that his statement is cor- 
rect. His loads, of course, are proportionately light, 
and the economy of time in yoking, unyoking, and 
herding two instead of six or eight animals, enables 
him to make the additional miles. 

Since leaving Leavenworth, we have passed on 
the road, in one week, six hundred and eighty wag- 
ons, mostly filled with freight — some of them with 
emigrants. More than half of these wagons are 
bound for Denver with freight. On the ridge, eight- 
een miles long, between Rock Creek and the Little 
Blue, I counted one hundred bound for Denver. 
One train had a complete quartz-crushing machine, 
boilers, steam-engine and all, for Central City. 
Several trains were for Virginia City, some for Em- 
pire City, for Utah, and for Oregon. For Denver, 
they get from six and a half to eight cents per 
pound freight. It ought to be a money-making 
business, for it costs nothing to support the animals, 
which feed on the broad pastures of the Govern- 
ment, and but little to support the men, who cook 
their own crude comestibles. Indeed, the fast ox- 
team man told me that his men cost him nothing 
but the provisions they consumed, for they all went 
without wages — some for their health and some to 
work their passage. It may not be generally known 
that a trip across the Plains for health is in the 
West a well-recognized remedy for pulmonary and 
kindred ailings in their incipient stages. 


Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, June 11, 1866. 

Storm-bound ! Arriving Saturday afternoon, it 
was our intention to make Sunday a day of rest; 
but rain, thunder, lightning, and wind raged from 
Saturday evening until this morning. I particularly 
mention wind, for it has, in these regions, a strength 
and endurance nowhere else equalled. Crossing the 
prairies behind us, it would, in a clear atmosphere 
under a shining sun and bright sky, bluster and rush 
with such force as to render a march against it very 
difficult, and this without the slightest apparent 
provocation ; for in other respects it would be a mild 
summer day. All that, however, was just the sigh- 
ing of the gentle zephyr (I grant you the zephyr was 
full grown and robust) to the performance of yes- 
terday. And then the rain ! In " the States " — as 
they term it here — a well-behaved exhibiting storm 
is satisfied with sports of the ring, and ground and 
lofty tumbling for a few hours — say six or eight ; 
here it does not get under fair headway in much less 
than twenty- four. Then, such lightning ! Such rain ! 

I once heard a man give as a reason for quitting 
Western Arkansas, that he wouldn't live in a coun- 
try where a man could n't lie down without being 
drowned, nor stand up without being struck by 
lightning ! I feel justified on the same grounds, or 
rather waters, — for my tent was afloat last night, — 


in taking leave of the Valley of the Platte with the 
least possible delay. 

These high winds are a serious obstacle to the 
planting of fruit-trees in Northern Kansas, and we 
remarked that nearly all the farmers are endeavoring 
to procure a plantation of trees, mostly cottonwood, 
about their houses, as a preliminary shelter for their 
young orchards. Such is the rarity of trees, as you 
recede from the Missouri, that at length the eye rests 
upon a clump or cluster of them peeping from the 
bosom of some valley, with more pleasure than 
upon a lovely bouquet of camelias and roses in a 
city. I am speaking of Northern Kansas, where the 
great route west travels on a " divide." Going 
south, as you strike the creeks feeding the Kaw or 
Kansas, there is no want of every variety of fruit- 
trees in profusion. This scarcity of wood is, how- 
ever, attended with one benefit, namely : the erec- 
tion of solid stone houses, material for which ap- 
pears to be abundant and excellent. I remarked at 
Marysville, Kansas, several houses built of a stone 
identical, in every respect, with the Roman tufa, 
used in the erection of the Coliseum, St. Peter's, and 
other monuments in Rome, and was informed that 
there are inexhaustible quarries of it in the neigh- 

I stop a moment here to chase my paper, which 
has blown out of my hand, although covered by a 
tent — and there comes the rain again. 

"A soldier's life is always gay.'' 

We have, thus far, made rapid marches for a train 
of some forty-six mule wagons and sixty mounted 
men, having come thirty, thirty-five, and even thirty- 


eight miles a day. On one occasion, I had for my 
individual share fifty miles, having preceded the 
train, and gone seven miles too far. 

You gentlemen of the city think it quite an equestri- 
an performance to ride out some six miles and back. 
Why, your legs are hardly stretched ! Rise at three 
in the morning, clean and feed your horse, get your 
own breakfast, ride forty miles without stopping, ex- 
cept to water, and then let us hear from you. One 
piece of advice I will give you. For any fatigue 
arising from horseback riding, your true repose is 
not in lying down, but in walking;. The pain is not 
in the members stretched in the saddle, but in the 
unemployed muscles, which stiffen, and can only be 
properly relaxed by motion. If you are under the 
stern necessity of going on horseback for some hun- 
dreds of miles, you will find the advice good. 

As advice is on the carpet, a word about pistols. 
The custom of carrying arms about the person in a 
civilized community is so barbarous and cowardly 
that no gentleman does it ; but if you come out here, 
I could not advise you to dispense with them — not 
that the inhabitants are not civilized, but because 
you meet with some very irresponsible people on the 
road. One of our party, a civilian, who would not 
be persuaded to go armed, was suddenly converted 
the other day. He rode ahead of the party out of 
Seneca, Kansas, and took the wrong road. He tells 
the story thus : — 

" I had gone about two miles, when I thought 
there was too much grass in the track, and soon was 
satisfied I was not on the grand route. Presently I 
saw a horseman coming across the prairie. I waited 
in order to ask him for information. He soon came 


up — a heavy-bearded, hard-looking customer, on a 
California saddle, with a pair of pistols in his belt. 
' Is this the road to Fort Kearney ? ' said I. 
' W-a-1-1,' said he, taking a mental inventory of my 
personal effects, accoutrements, and points of my 
horse, l it is the road to Fort Kearney, but ' — 

"'You mean,' said I, 'it's not the direct road. 
It's over there,' — pointing north. 

" ' Yes.' 

" ' Thank you,' and putting spurs to my horse, I 
galloped across the prairie. Once started, I did n't 
fear him, for I had a good horse under me, but I 
candidly acknowledge I would n't care to have such 
another interview. The man may have been per- 
fectly honest and inoffensive, but I should have felt 
more comfortable with a pistol in my belt.' " 

The pleasantest part of our journey, thus far, was 
our three days on the Little Blue, ascending a valley 
from one to two miles in breadth, the river fringed 
on one side or the other with a green belt of willow 
and cottonwood. Leaving the river, vegetation 
changes as we reach an immense level plateau, 
stretching north to the Platte. Here we besmi to 
see the aloe, prickly-pear, and saxifrage, and from a 
rich black loam the soil now becomes sand and clay, 
with an occasional ugly alkaline crust upon it. It is 
said to be utterly sterile, except in its wild grasses. 
The soil of the valley of the Platte is better, but 
crops cannot be raised, and the reason — want of 
rain — somewhat surprises us after our experience 
of last night. Three dollars per bushel has been 
paid for corn here within the past two years — the 
main cost being transportation from a distance. 

Ten days out one begins to feel the want of news- 


papers. In this plight, a misfortune befell me the 
other morning. We passed the Frankfort station 
of the Overland Mail Company, and seeing some 
passengers about the door, I rode up and asked the 
favor of any old newspaper they no longer needed. 
Out of six one only complied, and handed me — a 
scurrilous and disloyal sheet. I asked for bread, 
and they gave me a stone ! 

Speaking of newspapers reminds me of schools. 
We have seen but one on the route, although we 
may have passed others without knowing it. We 
had been travelling over a dry ridge since four 
o'clock a. m., under a hot sun, with horizon un- 
broken by tree or cloud, when coming suddenly on 
the banks of the Vermilion, amidst running waters 
and grand clumps of trees, we saw something still 
more fresh and charming — a group of children on 
their way to school. 

"All the little boys and girls. 
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, 
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, 
Tripping and skipping ran merrily " 

through the greenwood after each other. I stopped 
to speak to them, as much as they would let me 
with their constant interruption of " Are more sol- 
diers coming ? " There were fifteen in all — not 
one from Kansas, but two from Ohio, some from 
Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota, three from Ger- 
many. Presently along came the teacher, — a nice- 
looking young woman, — who replied, as I might 
have expected, to my question as to. her native 
State, — " Connecticut, sir! " She has, she tells me, 
twenty-two pupils every day in attendance, repre- 
senting twenty-one families, settled six miles up and 
down the river. 



Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory - , June 11, 1866. 

"Buffalo, buffalo?" is the constant inquiry of 
all those in the party who are on their first trip 
across the Plains. " When shall we see buffalo ? " 
The anxiety of our country cousins to see the city 
elephant could not be greater. And yet I venture 
the assertion that the wild buffalo is not so danger- 
ous an animal. 

But I forget. We did see a buffalo, and unex- 
pectedly soon, — in a field ten miles from Leaven- 
worth, — a real, live one, full grown, too. He was 
in a pasture, in close proximity to a hay-stack ; had 
been brought in from the prairies a mere calf, and 
now stands, hirsute and shaggy, sad and tractable. 
Like unto the other reconstructed animal, he takes 
kindly to Government fodder, and cultivates amica- 
ble relations with the Commissary. 

The sight of our first real game was an event. 
It was some thirty miles south of this. I was rid- 
ing ahead of our party, with a companion, when we 
remarked to our left, out on the prairie, six objects 
of unusual appearance. It took us some moments 
to make up our minds they were game. " Elk," said 
my friend. " Deer," said I. We were both wrong, 
for as soon as they started it was plain from their 
motion that they were antelopes. 1 They were dis- 

1 They need be Been but once to be readily distinguished from deer. 
The deer leaps, the antelope skims over the ground. 


covered an instant after by the head of the column, 
and in a moment our greyhound, followed by the 
guide and hunter, started in pursuit. 

By the way, I forgot to tell you about our guide 
— the most striking object in camp. Six feet, 
lithe, active, sinewy, daring rider, dead shot with 
pistol and rifle, long locks, fine features and mus- 
tache, buckskin leggins, red shirt, broad-brim hat, 
two pistols in belt, rifle in hand — he is a picture. 
Has lived since he was eleven on the prairies ; when 
a boy, rode Pony Express on the California route, 
and during the war was scout and spy. He goes by 
the name of Wild Bill, and tells wonderful stories 
of his horsemanship, fighting, and hair-breadth es- 
capes. We do not, however, feel under any obliga- 
tion to believe them all. 

It was an exciting race. The greyhound gaining 
on the antelope, the horse doing his best ; for it is a 
remarkable animal that can run with an antelope. 
Among the Navajoe Indians the highest praise that 
can be made of a horse is to say, " He can catch an 
antelope." But the Indian and Mexican horses are 
inferior to our blooded stock in speed. Faster and 
faster went the antelope, and faster sprang the grey- 
hound, until we lost sight of them. I have seen the 
Derby Day at Epsom Races, — nineteen of the best 
horses in England running, — but it was a tame af- 
fair to this. When the guide returned he told us 
that if the greyhound had been trained he could 
have caught the game. It did not know what to 
do, and would overtake the antelope and lie down, 
waiting for the hunter to come up. 

In approaching Fort Kearney from the east, 
twenty-six miles off, the eye rests for the first time 


since leaving Leavenworth upon a line of horizon 
differing from the smooth, ocean-like verge of the 
prairie. An outline of mountain is seen — at least 
it looks like mountain by contrast. It is the sum- 
mit of the dunes or sand-hills which mark the line 
of demarcation between the hio;h table-land of the 
prairie and the valley of the Platte. These sand- 
hills form a line of bluffs sometimes called " Coast 
of the Nebraska. " From the bluff, more than two 
miles from the river where the road strikes in, the 
valley of the Platte, covered with grass of a richer 
green than that of the prairies, presents a lovely 
appearance, as level as a floor ; the fort is easily dis- 
cernible across it, at a distance of eight miles. 

To-day two Pawnee Indians came into camp, — 
two braves, — draped to the entire satisfaction of 
that ancient philosopher, who kept his single gar- 
ment wrapped round him until the fashions should 
settle down into something definite. Our chiefs 
had on blankets — only these and nothing more ; and 
in point of fact, without them they would have been 
in puris natural ibus. 

Between the upper and nether mill-stone of their 
traditional enemies — the Sioux on the north, and 
the Apaches on the south — these poor Pawnees 
(Cooper's copper heroes) have been nearly, in prairie 
parlance, wiped out. The remnant left are friendly 
to the whites, well behaved, and quite equal to their 
own number of Sioux in a fair fight. Three compa- 
nies of them enlisted and served during the war as 
mounted scouts, with great satisfaction to themselves 
and the Government. 

To-day we saw a small squad of cavalry come in. 
Three out of five were Omaha Indians. 


Shortly after entering Nebraska, the first word 
you hear indicating a current of civilization from the 
West, is the word Ranche. A ranche is not a 
dwelling, nor a farm-house, nor a store, nor a tavern, 
but all of these, and more. It is connected with a 
large corral, and capable of standing an Indian siege. 
You can procure entertainment at them, — decidedly 
Nebraskaish, — and they keep for sale liquors, canned 
fruit, knives, playing-cards, saddlery, and goggles — 
both blue and green. Their assortment of optical 
wares is not large, though, and, not to put too fine 
a point upon it, they have nothing in that line but 
goggles. Jesting apart, they are here an article of 
prime necessity, and you will find them on sale at 
every ranche on the plains, north and south. The 
prevalent heat, dust, and glare make them almost 
indispensable. I saw, among other wares, some 
handsome buckskin gloves, manufactured by the 
Mormons at Salt Lake City, which they sell cheaper 
than Eastern ; so look out for a counter-current in 
the commercial stream. 

Descending the sand-hills into the valley of the 
Platte, you see your first adobe building, and thence 
they meet your eye all along the road. Strictly 
speaking, it is not adobe, (which is brick, regularly 
moulded, and burned in the sun,) but terrero, — I be- 
lieve that is the Spanish term, — being simply prai- 
rie sod, cut in blocks of two feet by one foot and a 
half, and three or four inches thick. They are laid, 
grass down, in walls three feet thick, and make the 
coolest house in summer, and warmest in winter, 
known in this region. Such a building stands an 
Indian siege better than any other, as it is impossi- 
ble to fire it, and arrows can do it no damage. 


Fort Kearney was established as a cantonment in 
1843, by Colonel James Stephen Kearney, (the uncle 
of General Phil. Kearney,) commanding three com- 
panies of the First United States Dragoons. A few 
adobe buildings were at once put up, and in 1846 it 
was created a regular post. Of fort there is no 
longer any vestige, the pickets and block-house put 
up for defense against Indians having long since 

The garrison, consisting of a few scattered build- 
ings of inferior class, and quartermaster's stables, is 
situated about three quarters of a mile from the 
south bank of Platte River, and two miles north of 
the ridge of sand bluffs which, for hundreds of miles, 
form the southern boundary of Platte Valley proper. 
Nothing grows in the neighborhood, and supplies of 
every description must be brought from a distance. 
Corn is a dollar and a half per bushel ; whisky ten 
dollars per gallon, and other things in proportion. 

Canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are (of ne- 
cessity) used to a great extent. I never before un- 
derstood where the outlet existed for the immense 
quantities prepared in the Eastern cities. Every 
ranche from here to California, and down to Mexico, 
buys largely of them. 

Kearney City — familiarly and disrespectfully 
known to Nebraska teamsters as " Adobe Town " — 
is two miles west of the fort, and rejoices in some 
ten or a dozen stores and the " Kearney Herald," a 
weekly paper which contains some stunning adver- 
tisements, mainly of ranches up and down the val- 
ley. Among others, Sam. Hyde, in closing a flour- 
ishing announcement of his Valley Ranche, says : 
" Be pleased to give us a call, and taste of the 


viands, smell of a smile, and loose your animals to 
the forage, and if you don't go away feeling better, 
your stock moving livelier, and your whole outfit 
looking refreshed, then say Sam. Hyde is n't a good 
rancheman. Don't forget the place — Valley Rancbe, 
situated in the very heart of that Canaan-like val- 
ley, the charming Platte." All of which is what 
printers call "displayed" in the largest and most 
ornamental type of the " Kearney Herald." 

We encamped eleven miles west of Fort Kearney, 
last evening, at a point where the road strikes the 
river. The number of wooded islands here, pictur- 
esquely grouped, remind you vividly of the Thou- 
sand Islands of the St. Lawrence. The Platte River 
rises at the base of Fremont's Peak, in the Wind 
River range of the Rocky Mountains, its main 
branch flowing directly east to the Missouri. Its 
name — Platte — is said to be significant of the 
character of this shallow and many-channeled river, 
which is platted into myriads of islands and sand- 
bars. One of these islands, known as Grand Island, 
was, a few years ago, ninety miles long — probably 
the largest river island in the world. The new 
channels, forced by high water, have recently cut it 
into four islands. Counting the Sweetwater, its 
main branch, the Platte River is nine hundred miles 
in length. It is utterly worthless for the purposes of 
navigation, the quicksands of to-day filling the chan- 
nels of yesterday. 

At Kearney City is stationed an officer with a 
small squad of soldiers, charged with the execution 
of the order from department headquarters, not to 
allow emigrant or other trains to go west of that 
point unless properly manned and armed against 


possible attacks of hostile Indians. No train is al- 
lowed to proceed unless attended by men capable of 
righting, and fully armed and equipped. A train 
too weak to protect itself must halt until it can join 
another train sufficient at least to make up the min- 
imum force required by the order. 

I ascertained from the officer on duty there that 
since May 15, emigrant trains have gone west from 
Kearney City at the rate of eighty wagons and one 
hundred and sixty people (men, women, and children) 
per day. This computation is exclusive of freighters' 
trains, which exceed the emigrant trains in number 
of wagons, but not in people. The freight trains 
are on the road all the time, going and coming, have 
all their teamsters armed, and do not require the sur- 
veillance necessary for the emigrants. It would be 
within bounds to say that one hundred and fifty 
wagons pass west daily, during the season. I insert 
an extract from the Kearney City paper giving the 
departures for two days. The list, I am informed, 
is not full : — 


"June 5 — Conductor John Sbaum, 23 wagons, 34 men, 34 
revolvers, 20 guns, 2 women ; bound for Denver. 

"June 6 — Conductor J. S. Miller, 33 ox wagons, 42 men, 25 
revolvers, 15 guns. 3 women, 7 children; bound for Denver. 

" Conductor Harmon Kish, 20 ox wagons, 30 men, 8 guns, 23 
revolvers; bound for Denver. 

" Conductor S. M. Scott, 32 wagons, 34 men, 34 revolvers, 
20 guns ; bound for Salt Lake." 

i The term Pilgrims for emigrants first came into use at the period of the 
heavy .Mormon travel — the Mormons styling themselves '• Pilgrims to the 
promised landoi Utah." The word has been retained on the Plains, and 
applied indiscriminately to all emigrants. 


A matter of interest just now for Kearney is the 
completion of the railroad from Omaha. The com- 
pany expect it to be finished in August next, and 
are now laying rail at the rate of one mile and a 
half per day. If the Iowa railroad were completed, 
so as to make the connection from Chicago to 
Omaha, across the State of Iowa, the Pacific Rail- 
road from Omaha would be far ahead of all its com- 


Banks of the River Platte, 
(Thirty-four miles W. of Plum Creek 
Nebraska Territory, June 13, 1866 

56. J 

We to-day passed very near the spot designated 
by acts of Congress as the point where the various 
lines of railroad intended to reach the Pacific Ocean 
must concentrate ; the exclusive privileges of the 
remainder of the route to be accorded to the one 
first at that point with a completed road. The place 
designated is at the intersection of the one hundreth 
meridian of longitude and the Republican Fork of 
the Kansas. 

From all I can learn, the railroad from Omaha 
appears to have, in point of time, what is called the 
inside track; but whether its want of connection 
east of Omaha may, or not, prejudice its claim, I 
am not sufficiently familiar with the act of Congress 
to decide. 

The Indian name of this stream is " Nebraska," — 
the Shallow River, — but it is now universally called 
the Platte. The etymology of the word " Platte," 
given in my last, is the one adopted in Nebraska, 
the river being so called, they say, from the fact that 
it plats out the islands and its banks, in its rapid 
and erratic course. The derivation appears to me 
far-fetched and forced. Without knowing it posi- 
tively — for I have never heard it suggested — 1 feel 


almost certain that the name of Platte was given it 
as follows : — 

The boatmen and hunters who accompanied the 
early explorers, were Canadian voyageurs and " cou- 
revrs des bois" and after some hundreds of miles' 
experience of the river, spreading indefinitely in 
width, with low, level banks, scarcely a foot or two 
higher than the stream, they must inevitably have ex- 
claimed, " Dieu ! quelle est done plate, cette riviere ! " 
The word plate, repeated in English, was necessarily 
spelled with two tf», to follow the French pronuncia- 
tion, and I am well satisfied that this is the origin 
of the name Platte. 

Ascending from Fort Kearney, the hills that 
bound the river on the south, running with it at a 
distance varying from a half to three miles, treeless 
and shru bless at the start, become gradually barren 
even of grass, and increase in sterility and broken 
outline until you have a range of cones, caps, and 
peaks of almost naked earth, pierced and separated 
by deep canons. In places, the river is beautiful to 
the eye, sometimes as broad as the St. Lawrence at 
Montreal, studded with innumerable islands of every 
size and form, and fringed (mostly on both sides) 
with picturesque trees. As I write, looking across 
a stretch of rich meadow prairie, on which our 
horses are feeding, at the shining water, relieved by 
the emerald of the green islets and the heavy bor- 
der of large dark trees, to the distant frontier of hills, 
I have as beautiful a landscape before me as an 
artist need wish. 

We have left civilization, and are in the Indian's 
land. No more houses, farms, fences, gardens, or- 
chards or fields. At the solitary ranche — each one 


many miles from the next, a man meets you with 
pistols in his belt, and you hear from him that as 
soon as the Cheyennes, Sioux, and Arrapahoes have 
eaten up the provisions they are now receiving while 
in attendance at the treaty at Fort Laramie, he ex- 
pects to be attacked by them. The treaty will last, 
they say, as long as the sugar the Indians get. They 
never knew it to be otherwise. The Indians them- 
selves, in going to Laramie, made sport of the treaty, 
and say they will make one " so long" — indicating 
the last thumb-joint on the hand. I have conversed 
with the dwellers in the ten ranches from here to 
Fort Kearney, and they all tell substantially the same 
story. Notwithstanding treaties and the most solemn 
promises on the part of the savages, they look for an 
outbreak, with the usual Indian barbarities and hor- 
rors, as certainly as the leaves fall. 

The trouble appears to be that these Indians have 
not been thoroughly whipped. They despise the 
whites and their government, for they cannot un- 
derstand that we should not chastise them if we 
have the ability to do it. Their successive massa- 
cres have been rewarded with treaties and presents. 
If a force strong enough to subdue them is sent out, 
they immediately sue for peace, and, of course, it is 
granted them in spite of all their treachery. Were 
we to do otherwise, and give them no quarter, there 
would be a cry of cruelty and oppression that would 
deafen Congress and the country ; and yet year after 
year, the dreadful farce goes on. Whenever our 
friends, the savages, run short of powder, lead, and 
blankets, they have an inexhaustible store-house from 
which to draw. They are not at all embarrassed. 
They step down to the Plains, plunder a few wag- 


ons, murder a few emigrants — a force is sent after 
them — they sue for peace — have a treaty, with 
its usual accompaniment of presents — get what 
they want — and begin over again when they see 
fit! Some eight thousand of them have been for 
the past two months at Laramie " negociating " — 
and it is supposed the treaty will cost the Govern- 
ment more than half a million of dollars. 

If the expenditure were of any avail, well and 
good ; but every one knows it is not of the slightest. 
It is very true that the Indians do not get all the 
money appropriated. Much of it is intercepted and 
stolen before it reaches them, and the amount of 
corruption generated by this useless and vicious sys- 
tem of Indian treaties is precisely one of the strong- 
est arguments against its existence. 

The nature of the outrages and barbarities perpe- 
trated by these savages is not, I think, generally un- 
derstood at the East. Murder and scalping are 
their mildest features. Their treatment of women 
and young girls beggars description. I was in Min- 
nesota during the dreadful Sioux outbreak of 1862, 
and I speak within bounds in saying that it is im- 
possible to write in English a description of the hor- 
rors inflicted on women. A man face to face with 
another man, would find it difficult to tell them! 
Language cannot render them. 

And yet the men who have made their wild prai- 
rie home in these ranches, are willing to remain and 
brave it out. I said to one, " Of course, as you ex- 
pect the Indians down upon you, you will leave 
your ranche and place your family in safety ? " 
" No," said he ; " where should I go ? All I have is 
here. They burned my house and killed my stock 


two years ago, and I '11 stay and see it out." 
Another whom I asked what he would do, replied, 
" Give 'em the best I 've got," pointing to his rifle. 

An hour ago, about sunset, I strolled up to the hut 
near which we are camped. The wife of the ranche 
man was watering a struggling little evergreen, 
growing at her door. On the door-sill sat a bright- 
eyed, flaxen-haired little child. The mother returned 
my " good-evening," with a sad expression. Poor 
evergreen ! Poor child ! Poor mother ! 

These ranches are seen at a distance of from four 
to six miles on these dead levels, and loom up like a 
Fortress Monroe, or a Castle St. Angelo. A stable 
or house with its square openings for light and air, 
resembles, at a short distance, a brown stone fort, 
with embrasures. The dwelling is sometimes adobe, 
but more frequently a solidly built log house, much 
more compact and strong than our Ohio log huts, 
and a corral of pickets or adobe, constitute the 
prairie castle. 

The last ranche I passed — a new one — was 
built of cedar logs, hauled forty-five miles. 

I have been surprised to find the cactus growing 
in great variety and profusion in so high a latitude 
as this. Within the past four days I have seen a 
dozen different kinds ; some of them of great beauty. 
If I had been told a month ago that the cactus grew 
in latitude forty-one, I should have doubted it. 

Thermometer yesterday morning at 3.30 a. m., 45°. 
This morning at the same hour, 57°. This evening 
at six p. M., 75°. 


Morrow's Ranche, on the Platte, ) 
Nebraska Territory, June 15. ) 

Fort McPherson, named after the gallant Gen- 
eral McPherson, who fell in front of Atlanta, was 
hastily established as a post during the war by some 
volunteer troops. The winter quarters, huts of cedar 
logs, erected by them, with a stockade, flag-staff, a 
few pieces of small artillery, and quartermaster's 
buildings, constitute the post. It is at present gar- 
risoned by two companies U. S. Volunteers, and two 
companies Regular Cavalry. 

The place is designated on some of the maps as 
Cottonwood, and is ninety-five miles west of Fort 
Kearney. We laid over here this morning to rest 
and shoe our horses, and have made only an after- 
noon's march to-day, twelve miles, to this point, 
which is at the junction of the North and South 
Fork of the Platte. 

I mentioned in my last, the change in the charac- 
ter of the hills on the south bank of the Platte, 
which we are ascending. 

For the last fifteen miles our route rises rapidly, 
and the hills approach the river denuded even of the 
scant herbage with which they are clothed near Fort 
Kearney, arid and broken into separate and rugged 
peaks and elevations, like some gigantic ocean 
breaker dashing its immense volume into a hundred 
different waves. There is a striking similarity be- 

30 BIRDS. — GAME. 

tween the last elevations of the range and the cele- 
brated Siebengebirge on the Rhine ; even to the 
peculiar shape of the Drachenfels. The hills of the 
Rhine are wooded, and allowing for the apparent 
difference on that account I should say they were 
of the same size with those of the Platte. 

The birds have become scarce. The prairie hen 
or grouse, which follows the fields and civilization, 
disappeared hundreds of miles back ; the bobo'link, 
who was with us only for a few days in Southern 
Nebraska, also affects the society of man. All that 
are left are meadow larks, plover, and doves, which 
last are in plenty. Game increases. We see deer and 
antelope every day ; the prairie dog has amused us 
with his antics, and all we need to make our happi- 
ness complete is the sight of a buffalo. 

Great excitement in camp this evening. " Boys, 
there 's an Indian up at the ranche ! " " Is there ? 
let 's go see him. " I supposed it was some drunken 
outcast, such as too frequently loaf around stores, 
and paid no attention to the report. Having occa- 
sion, however, to go up in the evening, I saw our 
savage, and a fine specimen he was — a Sioux, such 
as I have seen many in Minnesota. 

When the first French explorers went into the 
land of the Dakotah, they came from the Ojibways 
or Chippewas, their traditional enemies. In their 
conversations among themselves, the Frenchmen 
avoided the use of the word Dakotah, so that the 
suspicious savages might not know they were speak- 
ing of them. To designate them they availed them- 
selves of the Chippewa expression when referring to 
the Dakotah — " Nadiessou," " our enemies." The 
last syllable changed to Sioux has remained in pop- 


ular use, but is a mere nickname, and excessively 
disagreeable to the tribe to which it is applied. 

The origin of the word Sioux, as I give it, may- 
be found in the published travels of the early French 
discoverers. Thus much to make clear my conver- 
sation with the savage. He had been out hunting, 
was thrown from his horse and badly bruised. Jack 
Morrow, well known in all this region, and the owner 
of the ranche, to which he has given the somewhat 
ambitious title of " The Junction House," from the 
fact of its being near the junction of the South and 
North Plattes, accords him protection and hospital- 
ity until he shall be able to return to his tribe — the 
Brules. This Sioux belongs to the band of a chief 
called Spotted-Tail, which gentleman of variegated 
extremity is said to be now in attendance at the 
treaty of Fort Laramie. 

I found him the centre of a crowd of soldiers, 
(most of whom had never seen an Indian,) calmly 
smoking his long wooden pipe, and profoundly ob- 
livious of the presence of all around him. Waiting 
until the crowd had dispersed, I approached him 
with the question, " Pawnee " ? 

Violent negation and expression of disgust. 

« Sioux"? 

Reluctant and gruff assent. 

" Then you are a Dakotah ! " 

His features instantly relaxed, and grasping my 
hand with " Good, good; Dakotah! Dakotah! "he 
actually laughed with pleasure. 

Thermometer at 1\ a. m., 63° ; at 4 p. m., 82° ; at 
9 f. m., 58°. 

Saturday, June 16. 

We had no wood last night for our fires but 


cedar, and the camp was filled with its aroma. Our 
route to-day has been monotonous. Passed a train 
of thirty-one wagons bound for Salt Lake City, all 
six or eight ox teams, carrying freight, three to four 
thousand pounds each load. They travel an average 
of seventeen miles a day, and expect to reach their 
destination by the end of August. Their freight is 
paid eighteen cents per pound, from Nebraska City. 

As we march there is great increase of dead ani- 
mals fallen by the wayside, mostly oxen. The car- 
casses soon disappear here, showing the presence of 
the prairie wolf, whose sharp howl we sometimes 
hear in the night. 

We have not much ice-water, but soda-water is 
to be had in every puddle by the road-side, and the 
ground is covered, where it has stood, with a white 
incrustation. Properly enough, a station called Al- 
kali is just ahead of us. 

" Thermometer at 3^ a. m., 57° ; 3 p. m., 72*°; 6 
p. M., 69°." Dry stuff — figures about the thermom- 
eter ? perhaps you think. Not dry to everybody. 
Even distances and the price of freight, interest 
many. If I were to indite a page or two about the 
the prairie flowers, — the large patches of blue eu- 
toca, the artemisia, glittering like silver as the wind 
turns its leaves to the sun, the acres of helianthus 
and golden coreopsides, the fragrant phloxes, rudbeck- 
ias, azure larkspur, purple psilotria ; the quantities 
of cacti, pink, red and yellow, the islands of sweet- 
briar in the ocean of prairie grass, — your business 
man, who wants "facts, sir, facts!" would set it 
down as nonsense, and so your poor correspondent, 
after a hard day's ride, having risen at three a. m., 
scribbling with a lead-pencil, paper on knee, at set 


of sun, in front of his tent, has before his eyes the 
fear of dissatisfying many, with no certainty of pleas- 
ing even a few. 

We passed O'Fallon's Bluff to-day — named af- 
ter a hunter killed there by the Cheyennes. The 
Bluff is sandy, and not very high. The road passes 
around, and strikes the river above it again, coming 
in at the bank through a lane of cottonvvood, wil- 
low, and innumerable bushes of sweet-briar, loading 
the air with fragrance. A hum of gratification rati 
through the party. Much sand and sun, and the 
shade of nothing but telegraph-poles all along the 
road, made it an oasis on the desert route. 

Sunday, June 17. 

We have glorious risings and settings of the sun. 
With reveille at three, we are usually standing by 
our horses waiting for the bugler to sound " mount " 
when the rich sunlight, bathing the clouds in gold, 
spreads over valley and river. Each sunset is de- 
clared more magnificent than the last, and some- 
times the question is asked if this is as grand as an 
Italian sunset, showing how deeply rooted in our 
literature is the English belief on that subject. It 
is all very well to declare an Italian sunset magnifi- 
cent, as compared with English leaden skies, but it 
is simply absurd for an American to adopt the idea 
and apply it to his own country. 

Graves by the roadside increase in number. I 
saw but few in Kansas. To-day we passed many. 
Two small pieces of board, one of them rudely let- 
tered, usually mark the places of burial. Some of 
them are without name or date. Many are the 
graves of soldiers or travellers killed by the Indians. 


Most of them are of those who died by the wayside, 
travelling from their home to a distant land of prom- 
ise, to which, indeed, let us hope, they have gone. 
One grave, off the road some distance, on a solitary 
hillside, bears an inscription on its rude headboard, 
evidently made from a portion of a wagon, more 
remarkable than any I ever saw, and, touching and 
beautiful in its simplicity. It is 


7 p. m. Shades steal over the soft outline of 
the hills, across the Platte, and the sun sets in an 
unclouded horizon. Thermometer, 3. ! y a. m., 44°; 3 
p. m., 90° ; 6 p. m., 80°. 

To-morrow we reach Fort Sedgwick, and leave 
Nebraska for Colorado. 

Banks of the South Fokk of the Platte \ 

(near Beauvais Ranche), \ 

Old California Ckossino, Monday, June 18, I860.) 

We rise as we advance, and a few miles further 
on shall be three thousand feet above sea level. 
The valley narrows, the river grows smaller, and the 
hills lower and bleaker. We passed through some 
twenty acres of cactus this morning, most of it of 
what is called the prickly-pear variety. Some of the 
bunches were from ten to fifteen feet in diameter. 
They are just beginning to flower, the bunches bear- 
ing from fifty to one hundred flowers. These are in 
great variety of colors — straw, buff, pink, red, &c. 

Thermometer to-day, at 3^ a. m., 58° ; 3 p. m., 77° ; 
5 p. m., 85°; 7 p. m., 62° ; 9 p. m., 58°. 

Graves by the roadside still increase in number. 
Tu-Jay for the first time we saw one with a 


cross on it. How much to be regretted that the 
sacred emblem of man's redemption and hope of a 
blessed immortality, should be banished from such 
a spot! In our elegant metropolitan cemeteries, in 
whose adornment all the erudition of theology, arch- 
itecture, sculpture, and sacred history is laid under 
contribution, prominent place can be found for the 
Roman cinerary urn, — meaningless in such a place, 
— for the ram's head, typical of pagan sacrifice, for 
the reversed torch, emblematic of heathen despair 
beyond the grave, for the links and triangles of mod- 
ern profane societies; for any thing, in short, but the 
Cross, the highest, holiest symbol of Christianity. 


Fort Sedgwick, (Five miles west of Julesburg,) ) 
Colorado Territory, Monday, June, 1866. ) 

Julesburg has six houses, including a store, 
adobe-yard, blacksmith shop and — billiard saloon ! 
This last institution has been established but a short 
time, and at its advent, 

"All the world wondered: " 

— that is, all the world in Julesburg. 

At Fort Sedgwick, this grand territorial highway 
branches. Wagons, emigrants, and trains for Mon- 
tana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and some portions 
of Utah and California, cross the South Fork of the 
Platte and go by the Lodge Pole Creek and Fort 
Laramie routes. The South Fork is fordable here, 
and a ferry-boat is now nearly completed, to be used 
at high water. 

Fort Sedgwick is the most important of the mili- 
tary posts on this route. As already stated in a pre- 
vious letter, these forts are mere posts or garrisons, 
having no defensive works whatever. Sedgwick 
was established in 1864, and is now a four-company 
post, garrisoned by Uvo companies of the 5th United 
Slates Volunteers, one company of the 18th Regu- 
lars, and one company of the 2d United States Cav- 
alry ; all under the command of Captain Neill, of 
the 18th Regulars. It is the best-ordered and dis- 


ciplined fort we have seen since leaving Leaven- 
worth. The position is commanding, being high, 
and yet very near the river. A point called Pilot 
Knob, on the highest elevation of the range of hills 
behind, affords a magnificent view of the two Forks 
of the Platte, the Republican Fork, a grand sweep 
of prairie, and the distant Bear Battes, called by 
some the Bare Beauties! — beauties not even 

" Dans le simple appareil " 

of the one " snatched from slumber." 

The surgeon at this post insists that the entire 
Platte Valley is susceptible of as high a state of cul- 
ture and fertility as that of the Nile. For the sake 
of the Valley itself, and the future State of Ne- 
braska, I sincerely hope he may be right. Irrigation 
is his remedy. The Valley, and in fact nearly all 
the State, wants water and wood. Irrigation is to 
cure the first defect, and the discovery of coal the 
second. With the exception of some cedar up the 
canons, difficult of access and more difficult to ob- 
tain, there is no wood ; and fuel is hauled to Fort 
Sedgwick from distances of forty to seventy miles, 
at a cost of more than one hundred dollars per cord. 
The lumber with which they are now erecting 
houses in Julesburg is brought by wagon from Den- 
ver, and costs eighty dollars per thousand. On the 
Platte below, a fringe of trees is almost everywhere 
visible along the river; but, in ascending the South 
Fork, you may travel a long day's journey without a 
tree in sight. 

We have not ascended on our route for several 
days without result. Fort Sedgwick is 3,660 feei 
above the level of the sea. 


June 19, 1866. 

My journal of yesterday was interrupted by the 
most startling incident of our travel thus far. An 
angry-looking storm, that had been gathering since 
four o'clock, burst upon our camp at about 6 p. m., 
in rain, thunder, lightning, and hail. I have seen 
heavier rain and hail, but the lightning had terrify- 
ing, grand, forked tongues, and the usual descending 
flashes were its simplest expression. Against the 
black curtain of the sky it formed a quivering lattice- 
work of livid fire. The crashes and peals came nearer 
and more deafening, until suddenly two vivid strokes 
fell within a moment of each other, which, we were 
certain, must have struck within the camp. I looked 
out of our tent, as well as the dashing rain and 
blinding light would allow, and within fifty yards of 
it I saw a mule just stricken down. The animal 
gave one convulsive shudder and was dead. Nearer 
to us, almost at the same instant, we saw a man fall. 
We ran to his assistance. Fortunately he was 
only stunned. He rallied in the course of half an 
hour, and described his sensation from the shock 
thus : " I thought my back was broken, and my 
mouth appeared to be full of vinegar." Experiment- 
ers in electricity will appreciate the latter effect. 

While the mule that was struck stood in the lowest 
ground in camp, on the more elevated places, within 
sixty feet, were wagons and elevated tent-poles, all 
with more or less iron about them, unharmed! The 
storm passed down the Valley, where it appeared to 
be raging with unabated vigor for more than an 
hour after it left us. 

Thermometer yesterday (18th), at 3.30 a. m., 58° ; 


3 p. m., 77° ; 5 p. m.j 85° ; 7 p. m. (after the storm), 
62° ; 9 p. m., 58°. 

We made a short twelve-mile march this p. m. 
More cactus. I should be afraid to say how many 
acres of it we passed over, lest you might doubt my 
estimate. Among the colors I had not before re- 
marked were lemon, maroon, and a beautiful cherry 
with a silver-white edge. Any half-dozen of them 
would make a garden the centre of attraction for a 
whole city. Besides the birds I have already men- 
tioned, I saw to-day several flocks of ducks, curlew, 
and the red- winged blackbird. 


South Fork of the River Platte, | 
Colorado Territory, June 20, 1866. j 

Thermometer entries yesterday should have been, 
6 a. m., 60° ; 6.30 p. m., 88°. 

.The immense trains of wagons returning from 
Denver bring back nothing but a little lumber as far 
as Julesburg. The freight is thirty-five dollars per 
one thousand feet. 

One would suppose that Iowa was a sufficiently 
new State to satisfy any emigrant; but not so the 
seven families I passed this morning, with their 
eight wagons, teams, wives, children, and household 
furniture, on their way to — Oregon! They will 
reach their journey's end late in autumn. 

Most of the Oregon emigrants cross the Platte at 
Fort Sedgwick, but these, for some reason of their 
own, choose to go further southwest before making 
what the sailors would call their " northing." 

Thermometer,— 3.30 a. m., 60°; 3 p. m., 73°; 9 
p. m., 61°. 

June 21, 18G6. 

Since the fearful storm at Fort Sedgwick, we 
have seen others, above and below us, every day ; 
and last night at eleven another, more severe than 
the first, burst upon our camp. I spoke of the light- 
ning, the other day, as presenting the appearance of 
a lattice-work of livid fire. This time the lattice- 
work was shivered and splintered, and one entire 


side of the heavens was illuminated with these 
forked fragments, darting and shooting athwart each 
other and the black pall they emblazoned. At 
twelve the storm passed over, the new moon came 
out brightly, and — a thing I never witnessed or 
heard of before — the larks began to sing; not a 
mere chirp, but a merry, mellow warble ! I thought 
at first it was some clever imitator. But no ; the 
singing came from the veritable birds themselves. 

As we progress west, ranchmen have more en- 
larged ideas, and, instead of giving their own names 
to their hostelries, call them the Chicago, the Wis- 
consin, the American Ranch, etc. 

The dwelling portion of the Wisconsin is a 
regular castle in appearance, — entrance completely 
walled around, and pierced with loop-holes for re- 
connoitring and firing. The family, two young 
women and some children, barely escaped with their 
lives eighteen months ago, flying from the house 
only fifteen minutes before the Indians reached it. 
And yet these people came back to live, with the 
same danger threatening them ! The country, too, 
all about them, as naked and sterile as the desert ! 

We to-day passed over the largest plain we have 
yet seen, — fourteen miles in length, by one to three 
in breadth. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say 
that it is as level as a floor. 

More graves by the roadside. Near the Ameri- 
can Ranch, a neater and larger head-board than 
usual tells the passer that it covers the remains of 
W. J. Morris, killed by the Indians January 15, 
1865. He was murdered at this ranch — his own — 
by the Sioux, who took with them captives his wife 
and two children. 


For something Mrs. Morris refused to do for the 
chief who held her, he stamped one of her children, 
an infant of eighteen months, to death with his feet, 
before its mother's eyes. The unfortunate woman 
was ransomed after seven months' captivity, and 
now lives in Iowa. Poor creature! Her husband 
died but once ; she must have suffered a thousand 
deaths. The ranch has but lately been rebuilt, and 
I obtained these particulars from the present occu- 

This morning, looking beyond the Platte over a 
broad prairie landscape some fifty miles in extent, 
all of it in deep shadow from a heavy cloud just 
passing overhead, we saw a large city with high 
battlements, long walls, heavy masses of buildings, 
and ranges of magnificent edifices, all lighted up by 
a brilliant sun shining full upon it. There needed 
only a few spires and towers to make the illusion — 
for such, of course, it was — perfect. 

What we saw was a long cliff, or collection of 
cliffs, nearly one hundred feet high, thrown into 
brilliant relief by the deep shadow of the long in- 
tervening space. The effect of the bright light 
changed its crude masses of sand and rock into 
grand architecture. 

It is most probable that some such spectacle — 
often witnessed and spoken of by the Indians in 
Mexico — has given rise to the many stories and 
traditions current there of the existence of a beau- 
tiful city far in the interior, grander and larger than 
any ever before seen. 

We camped this afternoon two miles beyond the 
American, and, seeing another ranch on the road, 
went up to reconnoitre. 


A sign over the door informed me that it was — 




The dwelling and store are strongly fortified by a 
strong stone wall nearly six feet high, well provided 
with flared embrasures. This ranch was attacked 
by the Indians on the same day Morris and three 
other men were killed at the American. The sav- 
ages were about one hundred and thirty in number, 
Sioux and Cheyennes. They began operations at 
10 a. m. by killing and driving off the valuable 
stock, expecting to draw the men out of the ranch. 
Failure ! They then fired the prairie grass, the 
wind setting strong on the stable and hay-stacks ; 
and followed up the fire, expecting to see them 
catch. Godfrey crept out with a bucket of water in 
one hand and rifle in the other, and, protected par- 
tially from their view by the curtain of smoke, wet 
the grass a sufficient breadth to prevent the fire from 
crossing. Another failure for the gentle savage. 

They then — all of them mounted, armed, and in 
their fiercest war-paint — made a circle about the 
house, and employed some hours in charging up to 
it in bands of twenty and discharging their pieces, 
guns and pistols, at long range, at the doors and 
windows. They kept up this performance until late 
in the afternoon, and left in disgust, with a loss of 
three killed and eight wounded. 

Godfrey had but three men to assist him. He 
has seven now, and is not afraid, he says, of five 
hundred of them. 

It is a very remarkable fact that those savages, 
whose entire style of war is based upon a system of 


surprise and taking an enemy at a disadvantage, 
have not, in a single instance, attacked one of these 
ranches at night. Godfrey says they are too cow- 
ardly to attempt it. They want all the certainty of 
surprise on their own side. 

Godfrey is an admirable type of the American 
frontiersman. Originally from Onondaga County, 
New York, he settled first in Ozaukee County, 
Wisconsin, then in California, and, finally, here, 
where he has been since 1860. 

In passing the sod-wall corral on my return to 
camp, I noticed a deep, well-constructed ditch at 
each angle of the inclosure, — say three feet in 
breadth and depth. Supposing it was for defense, I 
asked no questions, but during the night I dreamed 
of Vauban and Carmontaine, and wondered what 
on earth the ditch could be for. There was no wa- 
ter to fill it, and, even if there were, the sandy soil 
would soon drink it up. Then, again, it was too 
narrow to prevent an Indian, " or any other man," 
from stepping across. In short, my military knowl- 
edge was utterly discomfited and brought to grief, 
and my night's rest much injured. 

Thermometer, — at 3.30 a. m., 51°; 3 p. m. 85°; 
9 p. m., 71°. 

Friday, June 22. 

I rode up to the portcullis and drawbridge of Fort 
Wicked at half-past four o'clock this morning, and 
had an interview with the commanding officer. 
With an air expressive of perfect familiarity with 
the use of the ditch in works of defense, I asked him 
why this "castle moat" was finished only at the 
angles, and not completed round the entire wall. 

" Why, sir," said he, "that's a contrivance of my 


own to prevent the cattle rubbing agin' the corners, 
and knocking out the sod ! " 

I came down, as it were, from a height, and gave 
the conversation an abrupt angle by inquiring why 
he called his ranch Fort Wicked. 

"Well," was his reply, "I guess the Sioux and 
Cheyennes know well enough." 

In the sandy soil we have been travelling over for 
some days past, rattlesnakes abound. We have de- 
stroyed a number, and this morning W killed 

one with nine rattles, which would make the reptile 
eleven or twelve years old. 

Our route has been through a flower-garden to- 
day. On one side, miles of the diminutive sun- 
flower thickly intermingled with the cluster-lily, 
making a combination of purple and gold hardly 
dreamed of by Solomon. On the other side, the 
wild heliotrope (white), the blue eutoca, the wild 
pea, many other flowers, white, pink, red, and yellow, 
unknown to me, and, more than all, the cactus, ex- 
tending as far as the eye can trace color, — a mantle 
of many and brilliant tints over the green prairie 
carpet. But this beauty seems like a mockery when 
all else around is sterile and desolate. 

The broad, sandy route, and the monotonous line 
of telegraph-poles alone speak of civilization. 

In dwelling upon the outrages of the savages 
upon the ranch settlers along the road, the thought 
naturally occurs that it is inconceivable men should 
risk their lives, and, more than that, the lives of their 
wives and daughters, to preserve their right to a lit- 
tle spot of ground. But the matter causes more as- 
tonishment when we know that they can have no 
property here, even in the ranch they build. This 


region is still Indian territory, the Indian title still 
unextinguished, and the whites who settle here do 
so without the color of title or authority. No sale 
has been, nor could be, made by the United States, 
— no line of survey even run. The treaties with the 
savages have, if I am correctly informed, merely 
granted the right of way covered by this route along 
the Platte. 

In quitting Nebraska, I fear that my letters con- 
cerning it may be severely criticized for furnishing 
little or no information concerning the State, its re- 
sources, its cities, towns, educational system, enter- 
prise, commerce, politics, &c. Ex niliilo nihil Jit. 
Nemo dat quod non habet. Scarcely any of these 
things have existence in Nebraska. With the ex- 
ception of Omaha and one or two small towns 
on its extreme eastern border — the Missouri River 
- — towns and villages are not. And, if you examine 
a good map carefully, you will find that there is lit- 
tle else to be indicated (save the few military posts I 
have described) but rivers, — such rivers! — creeks, 
sand-hills, saline lakes, Brule Indians, more sand- 
hills, Cheyennes, more saline lakes, and other geo- 
graphical confectionery. 

Indeed, I claim to have done for Nebraska much 
better than a very distinguished French savant did 
for Patagonia. He was charged with a scientific 
expedition to that interesting region, and specially 
requested by a learned Academy to make a full and 
detailed report on the manners and customs of the 
inhabitants. He fulfilled his mission, and, as is cus- 
tomary with scientific gentlemen returning from an 
expedition, took a vacation of six months (dining 
and wining), during which he was supposed to be 


burning the midnight oil, and wasting himself in 
literary vigils. His report, engrossed on vellum, or- 
namented with a beautiful blue ribbon and an im- 
posing red seal, was substantially as follows : — 


The Patagonians have no manners. 


Their customs are filthy. 
There 's the bugle-call : — 

" Don't you hear the General say, 
' Strike your tents and march away? ' " 


Camp Ward well (the Junction) 
South Fork of the Platte 
Colorado, June 23, 18G6 

n). \ 

The old road to Denver from this place follows 
the South Fork of the Platte, but there is a shorter 
route called the Cut-off, which, as its name implies, 
goes nearly in a straight line, and is some twenty 
miles shorter than the river route. The Smoky Hill 
Fork route comes in here from Kansas, and the road 
to Wyoming (the last new Territory) and Califor- 
nia branches off at the head of South Fork. Camp 
Ward well is, therefore, called the Junction. 

An officer, exercising the functions of Provost- 
Marshal, here as at Fort Kearney, sees that the 
order for self-protection of trains is complied with, 
and that they do not proceed without a minimum 
strength of thirty armed men, for safety against the 

Notwithstanding the pains taken to warn, advise, 
and direct emigrants in all matters concerning their 
safe transit across the Plains without any expense 
to them, they constantly neglect and violate both 
advice and orders. Trains leaving Fort Kearney, 
made up of several parties, forming the requisite 
aggregate strength, before going thirty miles will sep- 
arate into their original bands, each one separately 
being almost powerless for defense against an Indian 
attack, — a truly American proceeding. I saw sev- 


eral such instances on the road from Fort Kearney 
to this point. 

Camp Ward well is distinctly seen across the table- 
land by which you approach it, a distance of ten 
miles. Beyond it I perceived piles of remarkable 
clouds on the western horizon, and on reaching the 
camp, discovered that they had a fixed outline of 
cones and peaks, and that I beheld, not clouds, 
but — the Rocky Mountains! I had not expected to 
see them so soon, and all my anticipations were so 
entirely surpassed that my gaze was as much of sur- 
prise as of admiration. 

Jefferson spoke of the scenery at the point where 
the Potomac and Shenandoah mingle their waters 
as worth a voyage across the ocean. If he be right, 
the spectacle I now have before me is worth a jour- 
ney across both oceans and more continents than 
exist. I am inclined to believe, though, that Jeffer- 
son had not seen much grand American scenery ; 
and, indeed, but little of it was known in his day. 

The point from which my first view of the moun- 
tains was obtained, is one hundred and thirty-five 
miles east of Long's Peak, which looms up, the grand 
centre and pinnacle of the Rocky Mountain range in 
this latitude. The distance is less to the outside east- 
ern boundary of the chain, which rises like a Titanic 
wall straight up from the body of the plain, but the 
Peak, with its body-guard of grand, snowy elevations, 
is plainly visible to the naked eye at that distance. 

The first satisfactory view the European traveller 
obtains of the Bernese Alps (Wetterhorn, &c.) is 
at sixty miles. The view of these American moun- 
tains, at more than twice the distance, impresses 
me as incomparably finer ; and I solemnly abandon 


the last of my European illusions on the subject of 
European scenery. 

The English have made such a noise, in prose and 
verse, in every book I used to read, about Italian 
sunsets, that I could hardly trust the evidence of 
my senses when I saw their inferiority to those I 
had been looking at all my life in my native land. 

Once seen, European rivers and lakes were soon 
consigned to their proper rank ; but, I must confess, 
the Alps had a hold on me that is only now, for the 
first time, shaken. Understand me : I do not judge 
from the hasty glance of a traveller who does all 
Europe in six weeks. I am as familiar with every 
appearance of both Swiss and Italian Alps — morn- 
ing, noon, and sunset — as three months on foot 
among them are likely to make any one. 

I have before me now a stretch of one hundred 
and twenty miles of snow-capped and snow-clad 
mountains, and these by no means the most ele- 
vated, nor the grandest, of a range stretching from 
the British line to Mexico (more than fifteen hun- 
dred miles), and pronounce it sublime. 

The distance from the southern terminus to the 
northern British boundary is, I am aware, eleven 
hundred miles in a straight line ; but the deviations 
in the course of the range must make its length even 
greater than I have stated. When we consider, too, 
that this world of mountains has a width of one 
thousand miles in extent, — I repeat, a breadth of 
one thousand miles from the base of its eastern to 
the foot of its Pacific slope, — it will readily be seen 
that we could carve out a dozen or two Switzerlands, 
and scarcely miss them. 

As to questions of mere altitude of one or two 

long's peak. 51 

particular points, I have not the statistics in my 
memory to discuss them ; and, if I had, it would not 
affect the question of the effect of the two ranges 
upon the eye and the mind. 
Byron sang, — 

" Mount Blanc is the monarch of mountains; 
They crowned him long ago — ." 

But the world has kept marching on in geography 
and geology ; and Mount Hood, of the Rocky Moun- 
tain range, and several ptaks of the Himmalayan 
range — among them Mount Everest, the highest, so 
called after its English mensurator — have long since 
dethroned the European mountain king. 

Description of the Long's Peak range, do you 
ask ? I do not conceive the possibility of one for 
any attainable purpose of conveying the impressions 
and sensations of the beholder, and renounce any 
attempt at it. 

A line of infinite green prairie, apparently termi- 
nating half way up a misty wall of black granite, 
over and above which, in billowy confusion, are 
massed, higher and still higher, cloudy worlds of 
nebulous snow, their outline espousing the canopy 
of heaven, is all I can say as an apology for the 

We remarked to-day, by the roadside, quantities 
of that species of cactus known as the Spanish 
Bayonet. From the centre of a thick tuft of long, 
bayonet-shaped leaves springs a single stalk two to 
three feet high, covered with some thirty bell or cup 
shaped white flowers, pendulous, like the fuchsia, 
and resembling the fleur-de-lis. 

Camp Ward well is occupied by two companies, D 
and E, Eighteenth Regiment United States Regulars. 


Its garrison will soon probably be increased to four 

companies, which would have made it, before the 

war, a first-class post. 

Thermometer, — June 21, 3.30 a. m., 51°; 3 p. m., 

85° ; 9 p. m., 71° : 
June 22, 3.33 a. m., 65° ; 3 p. m., 95° ; 9 p. m., 68° : 
June 23, 7a.m, 74° ; 3 p. m., 90° ; 9 p. m., 67° : 
June 24, 3.30 a. m., 58° ; 3 p. m., 83° ; 9 p. m., 69°. 

June 25. 

Pictures in our houses, that we are accustomed 
to look at frequently, assume a wonderful variety of 
expression and effect. So, also, views and land- 
scapes alter their physiognomy with the changing 
atmosphere and the variable snow. But, more than 
all these, mountains undergo the greatest possible 
transformation to the eye : in the morning shadowy, 
through the mist ; in the blaze of noon-day, lumin- 
ous and grand in their proportions ; at sunset, soft 
in their outlines ; at twilight, distinct and sharp 
against the sky. 

We have been travelling all day down the face of 
the range, and thirty miles appear to make no im- 
pression on the relative distance from Long's Peak, 
— the repose of Infinity smiling at the puny effort 
of a creeping insect. As the sun passes over the 
range to his setting, the light cast down into the 
huge valleys develops their width, and gives us 
some idea of the great distance between the outer 
heights toward us and the grander and higher snow- 
peaks topping the dorsal range. In the morning 
they appear to the eye as one close mass of black 
and rocky heights crowned with white. One of the 
highest points of Long's Peak has lately been sur- 
veyed and named Velin's Peak. It has an elevation 


of 13,456 feet above the sea. Long's is six hundred 
feet above it, and, therefore, has an elevation of 
14,056 feet. This is somewhat less than the more 
accurately determined height of Pike's Peak, which, 
by barometric measurement in 1862, was found to 
have an elevation of 14,125 feet above the sea level. 

In point of fact, Long's Peak lies, not, as repre- 
sented in most maps, in the actual divide or water- 
shed of the Rocky Mountain range, but, like Pike's 
Peak to the south, is an eastern offset, all its trib- 
utary waters flowing to the Atlantic slope. 

Our evenings are cool ; and. when the day's march 
has not been too fatiguing, the soldiers gather around 
a cedar-wood camp-fire, and, in their way, indulge 
in camp gossip. I listened to a discussion, last 
evening, on the comparative merits, or rather demer- 
its, of the various military posts at which they had 
seen service. 

" Which was the coldest post ? " 

A candidate from Rouse's Point presented its 
claims, who was distanced by another from Detroit, 
who was, in turn, ignominiously routed by a caval- 
ryman who had wintered at Pembina. 

" Which is the hottest post ? " was logically and 
meteorologically the next question. 

Tampa Bay, Key West, and Point Isabel, were 
all warmly advocated ; but the discussion was thor- 
oughly — indeed, one might say hermetically — 
closed by a three-chevroned veteran, who, with an 
air of solemn conviction and a Homeric wave of the 
hand, imposed silence. 

•' All were attentive to the warlike man, 
When, rising from his couch, he thus began: " 

" Boys, did any of you ever hear of Fort Yuma ? " 


Not one of them. 

" Well, Fort Yuma is clear over beyond Arizona, 
near the Gulf of California, where nothing lives, nor 
grows, nor flies, nor runs. It 's the hottest post, not 
only in the United States, but in all creation, and 

1 '11 prove it to you. 

" You see I was ordered to Fort Yuma six years 
ago, and hadn't been on duty two weeks, in the 
month of August, when two corporals took sick. 
They had been there ever since the post was a post, 
— in old Heintzelman's time. Well, they both«died, 
and where do you think they went ? " 

No one could possibly imagine. 

" Why, I '11 tell you ; they both went straight to 
h— 1 ! " 

Profound astonishment in the auditory. 

" Yes, but they had n't been gone forty-eight 
hours — hardly time to have their descriptive-lists 
examined and put on fatigue duty down below — 
when, one night at twelve o'clock, the hospital stew- 
ard at the Fort was waked up in a hurry, and there 
he saw the two corporals standing by his bedside." 

" ' What do you want ? ' says he. You know them 
hospital stewards always get out of temper at a 
soldier's ever wanting any thing. ' What do you 
want?' says he. 

" ' We want our blankets,' says they ! 

" After that, you need n't talk to me about any 
post being hot as Yuma ! " 

Thermometer to-day stood, at 3.30 a. m., 53° ■ 

2 p. m., 97°; 9 p. m., 66°, — probably a more agree- 
able grade than at Fort Yuma. 


Denver, Colorado Territory, June 28, 1866. 

Denver is not a mountain town, but a city of the 
Plains. I mention the fact, as we generally associ- 
ate it with the mining country, and mentally locate 
it in the Rocky Range. It is the metropolis of this 
region, and deserves to be. Denver is fully fifteen 
miles — although to the eye it looks but two or three 
— from the foot of the range, which here rises up 
like a black cliff out of a green ocean. The atmos- 
phere is so clear that you have some difficulty in 
persuading yourself the distance is so great, and 
it frequently happens that gentlemen from the East, 
given to matutinal pedestrianism, arriving by the 
overland coach the night before, and seeing the 
square fortress-shaped mountain, which, like a huge 
flat rock at the foot of a sea cliff, lies just outside 
the perpendicular range, conclude " they '11 just walk 
over there before breakfast." The mountain is really 
an attractive one, closely resembling, to the distant 
eye, an enormous castle, with large battlements and 
embrasures, and cannot fail to arrest attention. It 
is not recorded that any gentleman ever went there 
and back before breakfast, unless, possibly, breakfast 
next morning. 

Denver is situated at the junction of the South 
Fork of the Platte and Cherry Creek. Four years 
ago, the old town (things are ancient and moss- 


grown out here at that age), or original Denver, was 
visited with one of the most remarkable and de- 
vastating floods on record. The creek, suddenly 
filled from some pent-up gorge, came down with a 
front wall of water three feet high, sweeping every 
thing before it. Take a specimen of its power : an 
iron safe was swept two miles down the Platte ; 
a printing-press still further ; wagons, barns, and 
houses went like feathers. 

You come suddenly upon Denver, for it is not 
visible at a great distance, and Denver returns the 
compliment by coming suddenly upon you. It cer- 
tainly astonished me. Shops, houses, post-office, 
taverns, &c, as a matter of course. But the long 
and crowded streets, attractive stores of every pos- 
sible variety, solid and symmetrical brick buildings, 
banks, churches, schools, the numerous and hand- 
some cottage dwellings, must, I think, surprise every 
stranger. It has, of course, the advantage of con- 
trast with the desert plain over which you have just 
passed, but due allowance made for that, it is a re- 
markable town even for the United States. There 
is every evidence of enterprise and intelligence in its 
business element, and its social capacities are ad- 
mirable. Greater politeness and attention, more 
open-handed hospitality I never experienced in a 
strange place. 

Incorporated in 1861 as a city, Denver has all the 
usual municipal officers, including Mayor and Com- 
mon Council, two daily papers, six or eight churches, 
half a dozen banks, hotels, concert halls, a theatre, 
lodges, &c. 

As to population, that is difficult to arrive at, as a 
question of numbers. Who ever knew a public- 


spirited citizen of any Western town to answer a 
query as to the population of his own city, except by 
anticipating a few years in time and a few thousands 
in number? Ask a Chicago man how many inhab- 
itants that level city possesses. Make inquiry of 
a Cincinnatian as to the population of the Queen 
City. Compare their answers with the last census, 
and you have the measure of their local patriotism. 
Weil, a Denver citizen has as much local pride as 
any other man. My opinion is that its population 
is between four and five thousand. It varies, neces- 
sarily, with seasons, and with the fluctuating ac- 
tivity of the mining region. Denver is no longer 
the capital of the territory. The mountain vote has 
given that advantage to Golden City, some twenty 
miles west in the mountains, although, practically, 
Denver still maintains its advantage, owing to a 
habit the Legislature have contracted of convening 
at Golden City, remaining a day in session, and then 
adjourning to Denver for the remainder of the term. 

The ease with which trains reach Denver, must, 
for years to come, necessarily make it the mercan- 
tile depot of the region. Even after the Pacific 
Railroad reaches it (and that it soon may, every 
true Denverite makes the doxology of his morning 
and evening prayer) the terminus must long remain 
at the foot of the range until the heavy mountain 
tunnelling and grading is completed. Meantime, 
expresses and handsome and commodious stages — 
the familiar old Troy coach — rattle through its 
streets every morning bound for the River (as the 
Missouri is called here), Utah, and Santa Fe. 

Denver is, I am assured, and have every reason to 
believe, an excellent place to make money ; but I 


could not, in conscience, with my knowledge of its 
Price Current, recommend any one to come here 
for the purpose of spending their income, be it great 
or small. Here is the result partly of my inquiries, 
partly of my purchases : Flour, twenty dollars per 
barrel ; golden sirup, four dollars per gallon ; tea, three 
dollars per pound ; ranch eggs, one dollar twenty- 
five cents per dozen ; single copy of daily paper, 
twenty-five cents; a glass of lager, fifteen cents 
(fifty cents last year, but the advent of two faithful 
Teutonic subjects of King Cambrinus changed all 
that) ; strawberries, two dollars per quart (a confec- 
tioner paid ninety-six dollars for a bushel ten days 
ago). The butter called ranch butter is really excel- 
lent. I never tasted better. I can say the same of 
the eggs, and fully credit the story they tell here of 
one of the early gulch miners, who, having washed 
out his one hundred thousand dollars, went East to 
enjoy himself. Ordering his breakfast at the St. 
Nicholas the morning after his arrival in New York, 
he added to the extensive list of desired comesti- 
bles : " Some eggs. And, look here, Mister," to the 
astonished serf in waiting, " none of your d — d 
States eggs, but real ranch eggs." 

Sombreros, saddles resplendent with silver, and 
other Mexican notions for sale in the stores, show 
your approach to the regions of Taos and Santa Fd. 
The acequias too, or ditches for irrigation (they get 
little or no rain here), throughout the surrounding 
country, are essentially Mexican. You hear, too, of 
chenegays (one or more springs together ; a corrup- 
tion of the Spanish cien aguas — hundred fountains). 
As you approach Denver, the stranger is puzzled 
with the appearance of little board huts dotting the 


plain in every direction. They mystified our entire 
party. " Wells," said one. " Springs," another. 
" Shelter for herdsmen," a third. Nothing of the 
kind. They were, to use the essentially American 
term, " improvements," and represented the veritable 
house, with door and window, tyranically required, 
by act of Congress, to perfect a claim. 

Denver is thoroughly loyal. Not always was it 
so. Many of its early settlers were gentlemen who 
gave evidence of the charming fictions of superior 
Southern civilization and State sovereignty. It was 
thought by them, and by their friends in Richmond, 
that the gold mines would be quite as good things 
to have as Confederate bonds. They made a power- 
ful effort to obtain their control. They possessed 
numbers, capital (although Cherry Creek flood sadly 
damaged the latter), unity, and impudence. They 
polluted this free mountain air with the badge of 
slavery, and displayed its " bars " in Denver. The 
mountaineers in the range heard of it, raised the 
Stars and Stripes in five minutes, and a company 
in twenty-four hours, and marched into town. The 
rebels and their friends forthwith departed, some with 
preparation of trains (for, unlike our poor Union 
friends in Texas, they were not robbed and mur- 
dered, but allowed to depart unmolested), some not 
standing on the order of their going, but departing 
suddenly — and the " bars " were seen here no more 
forever. Amen. 


Denver. Colorado Territory, June 29, 1866. 

I omitted in ray last to mention one of the strik- 
ing features of Denver. It merits notice. If you 
could be suddenly transported to its environs and see 
the handsome turn-out of carriages, buggies. Stan- 
hopes, and other pleasant things that go on wheels, 
and the stylish show of horses — mostly trotters, for 
the Denverites encourage no racing but trotting — 
you might imagine yourself to have fallen on a sec- 
tion of the Brookline Road, Boston, or the High 
Bridge, New York. Oh ! here comes a pair of hand- 
some grays before a neat but modest drag. They 
stop immediately under the window where I write, 
— where they should, — for they are to take your 
correspondent forty miles up into the heart of the 
Rocky Mountains, near the foot of Snowy Range. 

Off we go ! 

Golden City, Colorado, June 29. 
There is a good bridge — and a long one — over 
the South Fork of Platte, coming out of Denver. 
Trains of wagons in camp dot the plain around — 
some resting before a fresh start for their more fa- 
tiguing pull to Central City and Utah — some pre- 
paring to go back to the Missouri for a fresh freight, 
as they seldom take any thing on the return trip but 
lumber (half way) and hides. There's that bold, 
square mountain, barring our way like a fortress. It 


looks so near that you would think a strong man 
might throw a stone over it, and yet it is fourteen 
miles off. Here 's a ditch filled with rapidly running 
water ; another, still another ; and this one so broad, 
deep, and rapid that we cannot cross our carriage, 
nor even leap it on foot. We explore for a bridge, 
and at last find it near the fence of a farm, some 
fifty yards off. Fences are very few here, and there 
being no vagabond pigs, they are made with three 
rails only, the lowest two feet from the ground, 
posts not sunk, fence leaned inward, on supports, 
at an angle of nearly forty-five degrees. I suppose 
the advantages are economy of not sinking posts, 
and less resistance to wind. Farmers here evidently 
leave rain out of their calculations for crops, and de- 
pend solely on irrigation. Hence, ditches (acequias) 
pervade the face of the landscape, and greatly pro- 
mote the sale of carriage springs. We pass the 
fortress ; its upper works finished with rock. We 
approach the ravine through which we enter the 
Golden Gate. Here comes thundering a grand 
mountain torrent — Clear Creek — always full from 
the melting of the snows, precisely when farmers 
want its water. Now the road narrows, becomes 
rougher. High up to our left are rock palisades, 
like those of the Hudson ; pines, a little piece of 
black, fertile land on the creek, snatched here and 
there from the rocks for cultivation. 

Golden Gate passed, we soon reach Golden City, 
which, I will do it the justice to say, is the most 
quiet and well-behaved metropolis I ever visited. 
Met in the streets two men and one woman ; saw 
one store, a tavern, a mill — only this and nothing 
more. No wonder the potent and grave seigniors 


who make laws for Colorado prefer Denver wherein 
to lucubrate, lubricate, and elaborate them. 

They tell me of a great future for the city aurifer- 
ous; of leads and lodes to be worked, and to be- 
come mines. It may all be so — ^to the eye of 

Central, City, Colorado, June 29, 1866. 

Off again. Higher and higher up. Pines and 
rocks, with a magnificent dissolving view of the 
plains behind us — down, far down below. General 
aspect of the mountain, that of the wildest of the 
Alleghanies, and some of the features bring the Ju- 
niata ridge to mind. We catch a glimpse of the 
Snowy Range, which, a hundred miles back, looked 
like a white wall leaning against the outer black 
ridge, and now seems further off than ever. 

At the summit we stop to rest our horses, and 
dine. The Michigan House, a lonely mountain 
hostel, gives us a nice meal, the main features of 
which come from the " States" in cans. 

The meanest ranch along the Platte and in the 
mountains has Boston fish and poultry, New York 
vegetables, and Baltimore fruit ; and no wonder — 
they need them. In seven hundred miles I have not 
seen a fruit-tree, and scarcely a garden that would 
yield vegetables to supply a small family one week. 
You can find your way from the Missouri River to 
Denver, via the Platte Road, by the empty cans that 
line it. 

Down we go ! A sharp, pitching zig-zag, with 
barely room for our vehicle. We prefer to walk, 
and, indeed, are slightly forced to volunteer. The 
down-goers and up-comers must keep a sharp 
lookout for each other, for there is room but for 


one, and at the foot of the descent we found a 
patient ox-team waiting our arrival in order to 
start up. 

Further on, a narrow road, in a deep ravine, 
going at right angles full upon a foaming mountain 
torrent. Impossible to see any issue until, just as 
we reach the stream, sharp round to the right wheels 
our driver, and, as we look, we do not require to be 
told we are in the mining region. 

The gulch miner has been here in all his pristine 
strength and glory. Gravel, sand, bowlders, rocks — 
not one stone left upon another ; not one where 
Nature put it. The entire bed of the stream in the 
condition of the Kentuckian who was " uneasy in 
his mind." It was all " tore up." Here sent as 
high up the bank as impossible hydraulics would 
allow, and left to feel and trickle its way along a 
steep mountain side some hundred feet below, that 
crowbar, pickaxe, and spade might hold high revel in 
its quiet bed ; there put into the straight-jacket of a 
race, to feed that water-wheel now rotting like the 
dam above it. Old cradles, broken rockers, quartz 
pounders half completed and abandoned, a lonely 
grave or two up the hillside, requiemed over every 
night by the wild pines. Nothing more is left of the 
gulch miner, whose occasional prize of a nugget 
lured hundreds from happy homes and richer placers 
in their quiet fields. He has passed on. He is 
eighty or a hundred miles further west, close be- 
hind the trapper, whose quiet haunts he invaded. 

Mining here is no longer the matter of the chance 
finding of a little dust and a few spangles. The 
surface gold is already picked up, and the lodes 
are now owned by associations and companies, who, 


with the aid of science, propose to get the precious 
metal out of the bowels of the earth. 

We soon come upon chimneys, large wheels, ma- 
chinery, mills, steam-engines — many of the latter 
not yet put up. Presently the valley becomes a 
continuous settlement, and so we go on some two 
miles. Just below Black Hawk we pass a large and 
handsomely constructed building of stone, erected 
some two years since by Fitz John Porter, as agent 
for a mining company. The company never did 
any mining, its funds being mainly absorbed in 
preliminary building. 

Black Hawk is a long street of mills, stables, 
houses, and shops, all in the mining interest. 
Where it ends and Central City begins, in going up 
the valley, does not appear, but presently you are in 

The desolation and literal dilapidation of the bed 
of the creek has now extended up the sides of the 
valley to their summits. They look like mountains 
in reduced circumstances, and in a shockingly bad 
state of repair. Trees and vegetation have long 
since disappeared. Holes, shafts, and excavations 
almost obliterate the original surface. Hoisting 
wheels, here and there, show that a depth is reached 
beyond ordinary digging. Lower down the hillside, 
holes of four to twelve feet in horizontal depth into 
the solid rock show that some poor fellow has 
thrown away days of hard toil for bitter disappoint- 

Idaho, Colorado Territory, July 2, 180G. 

Our carriage drives rapidly up the main street, 
jostling and rubbing steps and windows on either 
side, and just as we think we are going, coach and 


horses, into a jeweler's shop-window, the driver 
whips sharp round a corner almost into a lager-beer 
saloon, and stops a few doors further, at the Connor 
House, the Fifth Avenue of the city. 

My letters delivered, I was soon the recipient of 
every attention I could desire. 

Take a V, the letter V, on a scale of mountain 
grandeur, put your town at the bottom of it, and 
you have the position of Central City. 

There are many villages in Switzerland and the 
Tyrol, nestled down in the depth of valleys, which 
the sun calls on late and leaves early, that give the 
best possible idea of the situation of Central City. 

It is the nucleus of a host of mining villages — 
Black Hawk, Nevada, and others with or without 
name, counting together, I am told, a population of 
some ten thousand. Mining, from prospecting to 
smelting, is here, directly or indirectly, the " all in 
all " of every one's existence. Central City itself 
is all lead and lode, and injunctions and local proc- 
esses had to be resorted to in order that the houses 
and streets — ribbon-like as they are in width — 
should be safe from miners' undermine and up- 

The dignified Judge A., and the affable Colonel 
B., just introduced to you, are sure to have in their 
pocket the inevitable specimen, and a neat little dis- 
course on the favored lode that produced it. 

Perhaps you think I visited all the mines at Cen- 
tral, and am prepared to furnish a list of the same ? 
I should like to see some one who could do the one 
or the other. I should even be pleased to make 
the acquaintance of the intelligent gentleman who 


knows how many mines there are. It is my belief 
that no one does know. 

" You are acquainted," I carelessly remarked to 
more than one gentleman in Central, " with the Oc- 
cidental Crushing ? " 

" Never heard of it, sir ? " 

Again I asked, " On which of these hills is the 
Coloradic Empirical Quartz Company ? " 

" Well, sir, perhaps they can inform you in Wall 
Street, but it is not known among us." 

Ignorant people ! Why, my friend Stanhope 
Trotter, Esq., of New York, has discoursed to me 
by the hour, at any time within the past four years, 
upon his great expectations from the " Crushing." 
He certainly ought to know, although he may, after 
all, get nothing but a past participle out of his in- 
vestment of $10,000. 

And I was especially charged by Madame Ve- 
lours to look into the " Coloradic," in which she had, 
in a moment of warmth, put a cool thousand, to 
yield her, she fondly believed, three thousand per 
annum, wherewith to keep the coupe refused by her 
odious wretch of a husband. 

Colorado mines and mining companies, known to 
fame, and, possibly, to a Wall Street dividend or 
two, are, nevertheless, not at all familiar to men 
who handle the mining pick and spade about Cen- 

I visited the mills and smelting furnace of Lyon 
& Co., at present the most active and successful ; 
also, the Black Hawk Stamp Mill, a handsome, 
solid, well built, and admirably ordered establish- 
ment, running one hundred and fifty stamps or 
quartz crushers, and a superb steam-engine. 


The crushing process is recognized as very defect- 
ive and inefficient for the extraction of all the pre- 
cious metal from the quartz of this region, which 
differs from the California quartz; and the Black 
Hawk Company, I am informed, after doing all 
they can with their mineral, sell the tailings, as they 
are technically called here, to Lyon & Co., who, by 
smelting, extract a very appreciable quantity of ore 
from it. 

The smelting process is, of course, more searching 
and thorough, and probably extracts more than any 
other ; but it is expensive, and I seriously doubt its 
paying capacities. Portions of the process are, even 
to an unscientific eye, very crude, and it is evident 
that there must be ameliorations and discoveries to 
make mining pay in these regions. No mining 
company — certain it is — ever worked in these 
mountains that is not fully ready to subscribe to the 
Spanish proverb, " It takes a mine to work a mine." 

In speaking of the want of success of these com- 
panies, I do not mean to say there has been bad 
faith or misrepresentation on their part in their 
statements concerning the value of the mineral. I 
went down into several of the mines, and examined 
numerous lodes. I know gold-bearing quartz and 
mineral when I see them. They are there, beyond 
question. The Central City veins are all perpendic- 
ular, and the deeper they are worked the more valu- 
able they become. 

During my stay at Central I met a distinguished 
German mineralogist — Mr. Herrmann, superinten- 
dent of the celebrated smelting works at Swansea, 
England. I do not pretend to know, but think it 
probable that a part of his mission here is to report 


upon the value of these mines to parties in Eng- 

Mining companies were formed, and began to 
operate here, just before the war broke oat. It took 
away labor and transportation, the right and left 
arm of mining. The high price of freight doubled 
and trebled the cost of goods and provisions. Some 
machinery cost nearly its weight in silver laid down 
in Central City. I saw a fine large steam boiler 
lying by the roadside up in the mountain beyond 
Golden City, for transportation of which to Central 
fifteen hundred dollars were offered and refused 
even this year. Sugar and coffee trebled in price, 
and the most ordinary board rose from six to twelve 
dollars per week. The common laborer, in order to 
live, was compelled to charge five dollars per day, 
and the skilled mechanic easily commanded ten and 

The average yield of the mines remained the 
same, and the additional tax of labor had to come 
out of the profits. Then, for the last ounce to break 
the camel's back, came the Indian troubles. Regi- 
ments had to be raised within the Territory, drain- 
ing the sources of labor. Increase of cost on every 
thing as estimated by managers, rapidly consumed 
the working capital of all the mines, and mining 
was practically suspended. 

Meantime, many who had come to dig for ore, 
had read the fable of the old man and his sons, and 
turned their attention to farming. Land was bro- 
ken, and fields cultivated. The number of ranches 
and farms increased in 1864 and 1865, and this year 
(1866) Colorado will raise vegetables and grain suf- 
ficient to feed every man and beast within the Ter- 


ritory. Labor is coming down rapidly with the 
price of grain and provisions. 

The Pacific Railroad is stretching out its iron 
arm to the region of gold at the rate of a mile a day, 
ready to bring freight over precisely the worst part 
of the route for wagons. War is over; wood is 
growing on the spot. Every additional comer re- 
duces the price of labor. Emigrants are coming in, 
and mines will be worked before next winter at one 
half the prices of 1865. 

Full, and even liberal, allowance made for all this, 
there still remains in my mind — and in this I mere- 
ly express an individual opinion — a suspicion that 
the existing processes for the extraction of gold from 
the ore, fall as short in efficiency as in economy. I 
seriously doubt that the most successful establish- 
ment in the mining region of Colorado is making 
money at this time. A reduction of fifty per cent, 
on present rates of labor and freight within six 
months will, of course, greatly aid. But, even then, 
there is a large margin left for desiderated improve- 
ment in crushing and smelting, or for some process 
that will supersede them. 


Idaho, July 3, 3866. 

Not Idaho the Territory, but Idaho, a charming 
little hamlet nestled in at the meadow junction of 
half a dozen valleys in the heart of the Rocky 
Mountains, six miles from Central City and thirty- 
eight from Denver. 

A word more, though, before we take leave of 
Central. I endeavored, in my last, to present, not 
so much the details of inquiry and search into mines 
and mining prospects there as the general result of 
my investigations. What I have said will, I am 
satisfied, apply equally to all this mining region, 
some hundreds of miles in breadth and length. A 
few details, to complete the subject, may properly be 
added. First, as to the depth reached in the mines. 
The mine, or shaft, of the Gregory lead (said to be 
the richest here) is precisely three hundred and three 
feet, and is the deepest mine by far in all this re- 
gion. Many companies have not a foot sunk. 
Work is going on vigorously at the Gregory, and 
the company is encouraged by increase of richness 
in the vein as they sink deeper. 

One of the reasons given for the inactivity of the 
miners is that most of them are waiting the result 
of the test trial of the two new processes, — the 
Lyon furnace and the Keith desulphurizer, — in or- 
der to decide which to adopt. The question is as 


to their economy. For the Lyon furnace it is 
claimed that it saves the greatest percentage of 
gold ; for the Keith, that its economy more than 
balances the difference. 

Meantime, people hereabouts are satisfied that, 
even at the present price of labor, the mines can be 
worked at a profit with either. This may be so, 
but, at the risk of repeating, I must say that I look 
forward to the day when some better process, at 
once more rapid and economical, will supersede 
them both. 

I had intended returning to Denver by the route I 
came, but heard of attractions sufficient to induce 
me to return by Idaho and Mount Vernon. Know- 
ing they were in a different direction (south), and 
that we must, therefore, take another route, I puz- 
zled myself, looking up at the walls of mountains 
surrounding us, trying to guess how we could possi- 
bly get out of the town, except as Sandy went over 
the garden wall — " Bock agen, sir." Once started, 
however, we did take another route, and went up, 
up, up, along what had been the bed of a moun- 
tain torrent, until we looked almost perpendicularly 
down on Central. This bed, too, had been torn up, 
if possible, worse than the lower one. At the top 
of the hill we found water-wheels, the motives for 
various crushers, and gutters and small aqueducts, 
led hither and thither, up and down the mountain, 
at the behest of the " Consolidated Ditch Com- 
pany" — I believe that's the name — an enterprising 
corporation that, by some legislative arrangement, 
have managed to monopolize all the water in these 
mountains, and sell the privilege of its use at fabu- 
lous prices. We continued to pass through a mile 


or two of houses and mills, some of the latter fine 
stone buildings; one of them an immense frame edi- 
fice, painted blue, and looking like an exaggerated 
Pennsylvania barn. There was but little sign of 
activity among them. 

Just before we turn to the left, to plunge into the 
Virginia Canon, leading down to Idaho, we remark, 
on the summit of the high mountain to our right, 

" Where splinters of the mountain chain, 
Stood black against the sky," 

a man engaged in some occupation that no one of 
our party could make out. 

" It 's a prospecter," said one. 

" Bad place for gold," said a Centralizer, " no 
chance there." 

" He 's digging," said another, " I see his tools." 

A field-glass was brought to bear, and it was an- 
nounced he had small, thin sticks in his hand, one 
of them quite long and half a dozen short. 

" Witches' hazel wands! " 

" No, he has a book spread out before him, and 
appears to be looking at the clouds, or the great 
snowy ridge." 

We afterward learned it was a landscape painter, 
making a mountain sketch. 

And pleasant it was to think that, while so many 
below were toiling for the yellow dross, dug out 
with infinite labor, to make one man rich, he was 
transmuting from the sky the clouds, the rocks, and 
the snow-capped hills, the true gold of Nature's love- 
liness and grandeur, to delight the eye, adorn the 
mind, and enrich the imagination of thousands. 

A rapid descent down the; canon, with its black 
walls of rock and pine, a tumbling stream at their 


base, flowers, shrubs, gaping-wide tunnels, and heaps 
of gold quartz and silver ore scattered in profusion 
along its banks. The canon deepens as it goes 
down, and before you reach the end, you look up, 
up, in vain, for its summits, until you emerge on a 
peaceful, sunny plat of prairie, through which a 
trout stream runs babbling. 

Once out of the carriage, our first movement 
was to the celebrity of this region — the Hot Soda 
Springs. Oh, what are your Russian baths, your 
sea-bathing, your Bains Chinois, your Turkish sham- 
pooing, compared with the luxury of that hot soda 
bath ? Yes, bubbling, sparkling soda, from 90 to 
120 degrees ; take your choice. I took 90, and — 
well, I can't do justice to the subject, except to say 
that as soon as railroad facilities exist, crowds will 
come here ; old and young, lovers piscatory and 
lovers of the picturesque, dwellers by the Pacific and 
wise men from the East, especially those of them 
unwise enough to have the rheumatism. 

These waters were well known to the Indian 
tribes and the early trappers. All the wild animals 
are extremely fond of them, and the other day a 
mountain sheep — a sort of American chamois — 
came down to them in broad daylight. They rise 
near the bank of a little creek which was, of course, 
invaded by the gold miners, who had a rather excit- 
ing time of it. The heat of the water was so great 
as seriously to impede work, and, finally, to drive 
them off. Thick gloves and india-rubber boots 
were of no avail ; the water spoiled the gloves and 
melted the rubber. Two neat bath-houses are al- 
ready constructed, and Denver holds its Saratoga at 
Idaho. As we drove up to the Beebee House, the 


provident and sensible landlord, aware that he had 
distinguished guests, sent out divers lines of invita- 
tion, and fresh mountain brook-trout came in re- 
sponse. I really beg pardon for mentioning it, but 
we had trout again this morning (July 3) ; not 
merely a few specimens, bat an abund'ance of them, 
larger than any I had ever before seen, and delicious- 
ly cooked. 

Charming Idaho, adieu ! 

Denver, July 3, 1866. 

We leave Idaho through a wild mountain pass, 
the road leading along and down the stream. A 
mile or two off we found General N. B. Buford, 
who proffered the hospitalities of the log house he 
occupies at present, as superintendent for some 
Eastern mining company. Our return road was 
more interesting than the Central Road. Much fine 
scenery, grand views, and, what surprised us all, 
miles of excellent, arable land, with beautiful farms, 
opened upon it. The contrast with the cold and 
naked peaks we had left was pleasant. 

"Behind we saw the snow-cloud tossed 

By many an icy horn ; 
Before, warm valleys, wood-embossed, 

And green with vines and corn." 

Descending by a canon filled with vegetation, and 
easy in its fall, we soon strike the interminable plain 
stretched out before us, and so return to Denver. 

On arriving I was asked by the owner of the 
turn-out if I liked my " outfit." 

This word "outfit" is on duty night and day, 
without relief, from the Missouri River to California. 
To cross the plains, or go to the mountains, every 
one must get an outfit; and, having outfitted, you 


become yourself an outfit. From generals it is 
used for particulars. The saddler who sold me my 
saddle assured me it was the best outfit he had fur- 
nished for some time. Bought a hat, and was told, 
" Well, Sir, I call that a good outfit." Went to the 
Planters' House in Denver to get dinner. Waiter 
brought me a very poor one, and, when I com- 
plained, said, " Very sorry, but can't help it — grand 
supper here to-night, given by the citizens to Gen- 
eral Pope and staff, and that 's the best outfit I can 
give you." 

I showed my Smith & Wesson revolver to a na- 
tive. " You 've got a bully outfit there, stranger, 
sure." A train of wagons is an outfit ; a man on a 
mule is an outfit ; a squadron of cavalry is an out- 
fit ; a Jersey wagon, drawn by one horse, an outfit. 
So is a man with a cane, or a woman with a para- 

That, namely, parasol, reminds me of the de- 
lightful sensation that came over me when I saw a 
waterfall on the head of a gushing young thing in 
Denver. I had gazed on so much nature for six 
weeks, that the sight of it was positively refreshing. 

For one reason I am glad to leave Denver. I 
have been obliged, while here, to put on every day, 
what the prairie men ball a " biled shirt." Now, 
with washing at three dollars per dozen, and a sin- 
gle " what d' ye call ' em," fifty cents, the " biled " 
article becomes a luxury. I say nothing of a dollar 
for hair-cutting, half a' dollar for shaving, two dol- 
lars for the " merest drop " of Cristadoro to qualify 
the paleness of hair that should remain black. 

Apropos of cost, a store of almost any description 
in Denver brings from two to three hundred dollars 

76 VETO. 

per month, and a moderate dwelling, where but very 
few are large, from fifty to one hundred and fifty 
dollars a month. 

Notwithstanding the large area of waste land in 
Colorado, it is still sufficiently great and wealthy in 
its mineral resources to support a large population. 

I am not familiar with its politics, but judge from 
the fact that loyal people dislike the President's veto 
which made rebels jubilant, that the veto was not a 
good thing, and that Colorado is full of loyal men. 


Encampment near the Foot of Pike's Peak, | 

July 4, 1866. 1 

At last we are clear of the Platte, having ascend- 
ed the main stream to the fork, and then the South 
Fork to beyond Denver. 

Soon after leaving Denver, going south, the plain 
quits its dead level, the country becomes rolling and 
broken ; a large rock here and there relieves the 
eye ; a few scattered pines, then clumps, groups, 
woods, forests, until we come into the cathedral-like 
stillness and shade of what is here called the Big 
Pinery, stretching in a close forest, on an average 
breadth of seven miles, fifty miles southeast to the 
Iron Spring. 

Near our encampment, this afternoon, our guide 
showed us the spot where the notorious Jim Run- 
nels and seven of his band were executed, in 1863. 

James R. was a gentleman who, to great enthusi- 
asm in the cause of the Southern Confederacy, and 
the possession of an officer's commission from that 
ephemeral outfit, joined an uncontrollable desire for 
greenbacks, and a discriminating taste in watches 
and jewelry. His idea of the diffusion of knowl- 
edge was to scatter the contents of United States 
mail-bags over the prairie, having first destroyed the 
coach, and murdered such of the passengers thereof 
as were not of his " persuasion." His headquarters, 
for more than a year, were in the woods toward the 

78 pike's peak. — leutze's picture. 

Arkansas, from which lie made occasional " excur- 
sions " with a select party of twenty-five or thirty. 
They were finally taken prisoners and tried. After 
trial, they were brought out of Denver in a wagon, 
and supposed they were going to Fort Lyon, until 
they saw the driver of the stage-coach they had last 
robbed (and some of the passengers of which they 
had murdered), mount the wheel-horse as teamster. 
" Then," says our guide, " they wilted." 

All this time, while leaving Denver, we have 
Pike's Peak in full view, and a grand sight the old 
fellow is. Our road goes steadily upward, winding 
its way among the huge prairie billows which here 
roll mountain high, until, on reaching the divide be- 
tween two small creeks, we find that we have at- 
tained an elevation of seven thousand three hundred 
feet above the level of the sea. That, for a plain, 
may be said to be doing its " level best." Here the 
view, from a height greater than the highest of the 
Alleghanies, is surpassingly fine. 

Gradually we go down a thousand feet in a few 
miles, to Monument Creek, and camp near the en- 
trance to " The Garden of the Gods." 

Our encampment is a beautiful spot, and it gives 
me pleasure to furnish you with a grand and highly- 
finished picture of it — not a common painting, by 
any means, — but a celebrated production. You 
will find it at the Capitol in Washington. It is 
Leutze's " "Westward the Star of Empire takes its 

I remember hearing of a remark of Leutze to an 
artist who spoke of coming out here : " You will rec- 
ognize the scenery in the picture by the color of the 
high, red rocks in the foreground, identical in tint 


with the stone of the little church at Bacharach, and 
the cathedral at Mayence." 

There they are, sure enough ; and there, to the 
south of Pike, that wonderful, surging sea of mount- 
ains, swelling up in cones, walls, ridges, and peaks. 
The grandest of them that loomed up so magnifi- 
cently this morning, a rosy light swelling all its pro- 
portions in a glorified nimbus of snow, this evening 
looks cold and severe in its bare outline of rock 
against the twilight sky. 

Immediately in front of us rise the two shattered 
and weather-worn fragments of what was once an 
immense wall of red stone ; they look a hundred 
feet distant, and fifty feet high, when in point of 
fact, they are not less than two thousand feet off, 
with an elevation of something like three hundred. 
Perhaps you say, " What 's the matter with your 
eyes ? Can't you tell a hundred feet from a thou- 
sand, or see the difference between fifty and three 
hundred ? " Why, yes, I can under ordinary cir- 
cumstances ; but here, in this wonderful atmosphere, 
distance is lost. 

To continue : Beyond the red stone fragments 
rises a high hill ; beyond that, two mountains, the 
second higher than the first, obscuring from our 
view all the Peak below a point higher than the line 
of vegetation. The Peak appears to be so near as 
to be fully within the range of cannon. Very well. 
Now, the distance to the base of the Peak is just 
twenty-eight miles ! 

Again, to illustrate the remarkable limpidity of 
this atmosphere ; we saw a smoke across the plain 
yesterday, and, after making what we considered a 
liberal allowance for visual deception, we — three of 


us — varied in our estimate of its distance from five 
to eight miles. 

A native came riding along. We stop him. 

" You see that smoke under the bluff*, over 
there ? " 

" Under the bluff ? " 

" Yes, the smoke under the bluff. How far is it 
from here ? " 

" Well," said he, " that smoke is fourteen miles 
off, and the bluff is six miles beyond it ! " 

A most remarkable instance, and there are many 
on record, of this atmospheric deception, and par- 
ticularly interesting just here, is the one that oc- 
curred to Pike himself at the time of his discovery 
of the Peak. Lieutenant, afterwards General Zeb- 
ulon M. Pike, is the first American who is known 
to have seen the mountain which bears his name. 
He was charged by the Government with an ex- 
ploration of those regions, soon after the cession 
of Louisiana to the United States by France. His 
expedition was made in 1806, and his party ascended 
the Arkansas River. 

Here is his account " of the discovery of the Peak 
sixty years ago. Anticipating the present tour, I 
copied these passages and brought them with me, in 
order to verify on the spot, the phenomena mentioned 
by Pike. 2 

" 1806, November 15, Saturday. — Marched early ; 
passed two deep creeks and many high points of the 
rocks ; also, large herds of buffalo. At two o 'clock in the 

1 See an Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and 
tlinmrjl, the \\'<*t< rn Parts uf Louisiana to the Sources of the Arkansas, Kans 
{Kaw?), La Platte, and Pierre Jaun Rivers, 1805, 1806, 1807. Philadel- 
phia: C. A. Conrad: 1810. A very scarce and rare book. 

2 See Appendix No. I. 

pike's journal. 81 

afternoon I thought I could distinguish a mountain to our 
right, which appeared like a small, blue cloud ; viewed it 
with a spy-glass, and was still more confirmed in my con- 
jecture, yet only communicated it to Dr. Robinson, who 
was in front with me ; but, in half an hour they appeared 
in full view before us. When our small party arrived on 
the hill, they, with one accord, gave three cheers to the 
Mexican Mountains. Their appearance can easily be im- 
agined by those who have crossed the Alleghanies, but 
their sides were whiter, as if covered with snow or a white 
stone. These were a spur of the grand western chain of 
mountains, which divides the waters of the Pacific from 
those of the Atlantic Ocean and it divides the waters 
which empty into the Bay of the Holy Spirit, from those 
of the Mississippi, as the Alleghany does those which dis- 
charge themselves into the latter river and the Atlantic. 
They appear to present a natural boundary between the 
Province of Louisiana and New Mexico, and would be a 
defined and natural boundary. 

" Before evening we discovered a fork on the south side, 
bearing south, 25° west, and as the Spanish troops ap- 
peared to have borne up it, we encamped on its banks, 
about one mile from its confluence, that we might make 
further discoveries on the morrow. Killed three buffalo. 
Distance, twenty-four miles." 

The point from which Pike first saw the mount- 
ain, must be, as nearly as I can calculate from dis- 
tances laid down in his journal, one hundred and 
thirty miles from the Peak. 1 

Pike had evidently seen no higher mountains than 
the Alleghanies. The white appearance he ascribes 
to " snow or a white stone," was due, as a matter of 
course, to snow, as the Peak, in towering far above 
the line of vegetation, is a solid mass of red por- 

1 See Appendix No. II. 


phyritic rock. The Bay of the Holy Ghost (Spiritu 
Santo of the Spaniards), is now known as the Gulf 
of California. The fork or small river on which 
Pike encamped, is the stream that now bears the 
name of the Picket Wire. 

It is evident from Pike's entry of November 15, 
that the Peak, at a distance of one hundred and 
thirty miles, appeared as high as the Alleghanies do 
to a person actually crossing them. He evidently 
thought he was not more than twenty or thirty 
miles off, for, not succeeding in reaching it on the 
16th, his journal for the 17th informs us : — 

"Monday, November 17. — Marched at our usual hour. 
Pushed with an idea of arriving at the mountain, but found, 
at night, no visible difference in its appearance from what 
we did yesterday." 

On the 23d of November he says : — 

" Concluded to ascend the North Fork to the high point 
of the Blue Mountain, which we conceived would be one day's 

The " North Fork " Pike speaks of was not the 
North Fork of the Arkansas, as he supposed, but the 
" Fontaine qui Bonille " river, marked on the maps 
as " Boiling Spring River." The object of his " one 
day's march " was still receding yet further. Ac- 
cordingly he resumes, on the day following, thus : — 

" November 24. — TTe marched at one o'clock, with an 
idea of arriving at the foot of the mountain ; but found 
ourselves obliged to take up our night's lodging under a 
single cedar, which w T e found in the prairie, without water, 
and extremely cold. 

'• November 25. — Marched early, with an expectation 
of ascending the mountain, but was only able to encamp 


at its base, after passing over many small hills covered 
with cedars and pines." 

To complete what is most interesting in Pike's 
journal concerning the Peak, I will close with what 
he says on the subject of its height : — 

"December 2, 1806. — Dr. Robinson and myself, with 
assistants, went out and took the altitude of the mountain, 
on the base of a mile to an inch. The perpendicular height 
of the mountain, from the level of the prairie, was 10,581 
feet, and admitting that the prairie was 8000 feet from 
the level of the sea, it would make the elevation of the 
peak 18,581 feet, equal to some, and surpassing the calcu- 
lated heights of others, for instance the Peak of TenerifFe, 
and falling short of that of Chimborazo only 1701 feet. 
Indeed, it was so remarkable as to be known to all the 
savage nations for hundreds of miles around, and to be 
spoken of with admiration by the Spaniards of New Mexico, 
and was the boundary of their travels northwest. Indeed, 
in our wanderings in the mountains, it was never out of 
our sight (except when in a valley) from the 15th of No- 
vember to the 27th of January." x 

Tested by late measurements, this estimate of the 
height of the Peak is too great. By barometric 
measurement in 1862, it was found to have an ele- 
vation of 14,125 feet above the sea level. Colorado 
City, at the edge of the plain below, is set down by 
Government surveys at 6000 feet, making a differ- 
ence of 2456 feet between Pike and the latest au- 
thorities, a difference readily accounted for by the 
superiority of modern mathematical instruments. 
In point of fact, the actually measured difference is 
but 456 feet, as Pike was obliged to assume the ele- 
vation of the prairie to be 8000 feet, when it was 

l Xote, p. 171. 


but 6000 ; for, it will be remembered, he states it 

The transition from barometric measurements to 
the subject of storm-clouds is not very violent; and, 
lest I forget it, I will here note one or two interest- 
ing facts in connection with the terrific thunder- 
storm of June 18th, during which the lightning struck 
our camp in two places, injuring a man and killing 
a mule, in the very centre of the encampment. A 
government train was passing on the road some ten 
miles ahead of us, during the same storm. A tele- 
graph pole being blown down, the wire fell, nearly 
reaching the ground. A teamster, passing by, took 
hold of the wire to push it aside, and was killed in- 
stantly. Still further on the road, about the same 
time, and under precisely similar circumstances, a 
man took hold of the telegraph wire, passing his 
hand along several feet of it, and went on unhurt. 
Following him only a few feet came another, who, 
on taking hold of the wire, was struck dead instant- 
ly, and found, on examination, to be badly burned 
about the breast. These facts were communicated 
to me at Denver, a few days since, by parties who 
were present and in charge of the trains at the time, 
the incidents related took place. 


Garden of the Gods, 

(Near the Foot of Pike's Peak), 

Colorado, July 5, 1866. 

In my last, I was about to tell you of the Garden 
of the Gods, which — although neither Olympus 
nor Valhalla — is a very remarkable spot; but a di- 
gression to Leutze's picture, leading me off to Pike 
and " his Peak," filled up my letter space. To-day, 
I have been enabled to remain behind our party, and 
have time to explore and admire it. 

On any good map of the Territories, you will find 
laid down a small stream called Monument Creek, 
which ranges along the base of the mountains north 
of Colorado City. Ages of atmospheric work and 
running water have worn the rocks through which 
lay its former and present bed, into wonderful and 
fantastic shapes — bastions, battlements, half-buried 
marbles, towers, and castles, and here and there — 

..." A precipice, 
That seems a fragment of some mighty wall, 
Built by the Hand that fashioned the world, 

. . . And thrown down, 
When the flood drowned them." 

Nearly the entire length of the creek presents 
these appearances. That portion of it called " The 
Garden" widens suddenly from a narrow gorge into 
a beautiful valley of a mile and a half in length by 
. nearly half of that in breadth. At its southern end, 
narrowing again, the mountain walls approach each 


other as if to form a gateway. From their bases, 
walls of stone have been erected, leaving an open 
passage between them, and heightening the illusion 
of a grand portal. You leave behind you an open, 
soft, Arcadian vale, level and verdant, and vocal 
with the music of a pebbly brook. In front, rise 
huge masses of rock, walls, gigantic statues, and 
strange, impressive shapes in stone. To the west, 
on your left hand, high up go the dark mountains 
with sombre fringe of reck and pine. 

..." But, to the east, 
Sheer to the vale, go down the bare old cliffs — 
Huge pillars, that in middle heaven upheave 
Their weather-beaten capitals, here dark 
With moss, the growth of centuries, and there 
Of chalky whiteness, where the thunderbolt 
Has splintered them." 

Before you, as in the interior of some vast ca- 
thedral, spring toward the sky gigantic columns, 
pillars, and walls of every conceivable size and 
shape, their effect wonderfully heightened by the 
variety of color in the rocks and stones of which 
they are composed, gray, white, blue, red, and black. 
Many of the pillars, admirably rounded by the action 
of the elements, monumental in their aspects and 
proportions, are from two to three hundred feet in 

Wonderful resemblances to statues of men, birds, 
and animals present themselves in many of them, 
and a gigantic stone eagle, perched in repose on the 
pinnacle of a column two hundred and fifty feet 
high, and surveying in calm majesty the scene be- 
low, is almost perfect in his proportions. 

Masses of Titanic walls stand here and there, over- 
topping the columns, and furnishing, in their crevices, 


endless suites of " marble halls," inhabited by myr- 
iads of swallows, that appear to you hardly as large 
as flies as they dart in and out. 

As your gaze comes down for repose, it rests on 
a carpet of green, through which — 

..." The rivulet 
Sends forth glad sounds, or, leaping down the rocks, 
Seems, with continuous laughter, to rejoice 
In its own being." 

Pines arid oaks — fit trees for the gods — furnish 
shade, and wild flowers and shrubs complete the 

Solitude amid bleak rocks and silent hills is always 
impressive; but amid a scene like this, the murmur 
of the water, the sighing of the trees, the towering 
and almost speaking majesty of the grand stony 
figures, the grandeur of the encircling mountains, 
affect you far more deeply. 

The gods, of course, were silent, and gave no sign ; 
the bird of Jove moved not ; the nymphs were invis- 
ible ; the " tuneful Nine " now, as ever, studiously 
avoided me ; the Naiads had, doubtless, fled at my 
approach ; and the only thing resembling a Dryad 
that I beheld was a young gentleman (whom to 
name modesty forbids) who, having just bathed in 
the crystal stream of the mountain Olympus, was 
using his linen duster for a towel ! 

Pueblo, Colorado, July 7, 1866. 

There is no gold at Pike's Peak. 

There never was any gold at Pike's Peak. 

These statements are as startling, I have no doubt, 
to many as they were to me. 

" Why, bless my soul ! " say you, taking off your 
spectacles, for emphasis, " what are we to believe, 


if not that Pike's Peak was a gold mine ? What 
was all the excitement about six years ago ? and 
where did the thousands of people go who started 
for Pike's Peak ? " 

Well, the excitement was about gold, and the 
people went to Pike's Peak, but only for a fresh 
point of departure. The Peak is the exponent and 
outpost of a grand mountain range ; but the mines 
are in the heart of the range, eighty or a hundred 
miles off. Miners must pass the Peak that distance 
to reach the gold. No sound of pick or blast ever 
broke his repose, and his rock-ribbed sides rest un- 

Colorado City has neither billiard saloon, restau- 
rant, coffee-house nor theatre, and is, therefore, clearly 
not a mining town. It is as quiet and quiescent as 
an interior Kentucky village. The excitement of 
1859 brought it into being, and in the first year of its 
existence it had one hundred and thirty houses, and 
three hundred inhabitants. Its population now is 
one hundred souls, all told. In winter it numbers 
somewhat more, as many of the miners then come 
down from the mountains. The nearest mines are 
seventy miles distant. Of them all the Red Mountain 
district is said to be the richest, although the deepest 
shafts sunk are only twelve feet. 

Colorado City is seventy miles distant from Den- 
ver, and forty-five from Pueblo. Fully thirty miles 
of the latter distance are covered on both sides of 
the road with excellent farms — I mean the fields, not 
the improvements, which are wretched. Wheat, corn, 
oats, all grow well, the smaller grains best. I saw 
one field of fine wheat, of three hundred and eighty 
acres. No fences, and all the cultivation by irriga- 


tion, in which the Americans, for want of familiarity 
with the system of acequias, or ditches, make a mis- 
take the Mexicans have long since learned to avoid. 
They dig them too deep and at too great an inclina- 
tion, thus creating a current that washes out or 
deepens the ditch, and they use more water than is 
necessary — an eminently American trait, for, from 
housekeeping up to national finances, from the thick 
parings of potatoes and turnips up to the fat slices 
off treasury ribs, we waste and destroy more than 
would support the people and government of any 
European kingdom. 

Most of the people who have settled these farms 
were disappointed " Peakers " — either those who 
had thrown down the shovel to take up the plough, 
or those who, with exhausted means, found a long 
mountain journey still before them after they had 
reached the Peak. 

Touching irrigation, I have a story to tell, exem- 
plifying the high esteem in which it is held in these 

Some twelve miles below Colorado I stopped at 
a ranch to get a drink of milk. Perhaps I was at- 
tracted by a group of children playing with a pet 
antelope — a little, delicate thing but a few weeks 
old, with large, soft, liquid, black eyes, and tame as 
a kitten. Man of the house absent in the field. 
Mother put on her husband's hat, and started for the 
milk-house as soon as my request was made. Gave 
us plenty of rich, cool milk, for which she positively 
refused a cent of compensation. She told me they 
were from Crawford County, Pennsylvania. " Like 
it here just middlin'. It's so lonesome; no women 
about ; all men folks." 


" But, Madam," said I, " you appear to have a 
great many neighbors here, with all these fine farms 
about you." 

" My sakes, yes ! There are thirty-two men farm- 
in' here, and not one of them married — a set of 
good-for-nothing old bachelors ! I just tell 'em they 
ought all to be took up and settled down on a dry 
creek ! " 

Now, if you consider for a moment the value and 
blessing of a running stream in a country whose 
existence depends upon irrigation, you will have 
some slight idea of the deep anathema conveyed by 
the imprecation of " dry creek." Being a wretched 
bachelor myself, I left suddenly, covered with shame 
and confusion. 

To do Colorado City full justice, I will add that 
it has five stores and a post-office. The stores are, 
of course, supported by the miners and the farmers. 
Within twelve miles of the village two thousand 
more acres are put into cultivation this season than 
last, and they now raise more grain than their neigh- 
borhood can use. Every available quarter-section 
is taken up. Wheat and corn last year brought 
thirteen cents per pound. This year they will bring 
from six to eight cents. 

I had almost forgotten to mention the Soda 
Spring 1 three miles from the city toward the foot 
of the Peak — not hot, like those of Idaho, but cold, 
sparkling, and foaming from Nature's laboratory in 

1 A large slab of white rock, having three openings or holes in it — one 
of tin-in a foot or more in circumference — out of which the water boils up, 
running over the rock into the creek. The water has an agreeable taste 
not u 1 1 1 i k i ■ thai of Seltzer. Analysis Bhowa carbonate of lime 02. a small 
amount of carbonate of magnesia, and still smaller of sulphate of lime and 
chlorides of calcium and magnesia. 


the deep caverns that underlie the mountain's foun- 
dation, and superior to any thing chemist ever pro- 

When you go there, — as you doubtless will, — 
take a little lemon sirup to put in your tumbler, and 
you have a " nectar mousseux " the gods might quaff. 
Indeed, I have not the slightest doubt that large 
quantities of it are consumed at Madame Juno's 
balls and receptions, over in the " Garden." 

I endeavored to ascertain whence and when came 
the designation of the " Garden of the Gods." The 
oldest inhabitant of Colorado City dates only as far 
back as 1859, and he tells me that " they called it so 
when he came." 

Pueblo is a modern village, on the north bank of 
the Arkansas, near the mouth of the Fontaine qui 
Bouille River, which takes its rise in the aforemen- 
tioned Soda Spring. It is put down on the maps 
as " Boiling Spring River," although the people of 
the country, nearly all Americans, still call it by its 
French name. Pueblo dates only some six years 
back, and is named after an old Spanish fort that 
formerly existed on the opposite bank. The town is 
composed of some fifteen or twenty houses, three 
stores, a tavern, and an immense sign-board, which 
has evidently seen better days in some more me- 
tropolitan locality. The sign in question bears this 
" strange device : " — 

" El Progresso." 
Behind and under it is a saloon — making the pros- 
pective " progress " for Pueblo of a dubious and 
questionable character. 

As we near the river bank, the Arkansas — like 
the Iser (of course you remember the story of the 


man who was found by Hohenlinden Campbell at 
the foot of a staircase, from the top of which he had 
just been thrown down. " God bless my soul," says 
T. C, " what 's this ? " " 'T was I, sir — rolling 
rapidly," responded the suddenly descended) ; like 
the Iser, then — was rolling down very fast, and 
some hours were consumed in putting across our 
command, in a single scow swinging to a rope 
stretched from bank to bank. The Arkansas is here 
about sixty yards wide. 

Landed on the south bank, we encamp near a 
magnificent grove of large cotton- woods — one of 
them measuring sixteen feet in circumference. 

I was here struck with the remarkable versatility 
in the habits and physiognomy of this tree. Some 
of them look, in the distance, like perfect oaks — 
and grand ones, too — with the majestic spread of 
the branches and grand bearing of the monarch of 
the forest. Others you would take for elms, with 
their graceful, full heading of foliage. 



Eaton Pass, Banks of the Picket Wire, 1 
New Mexico, July 9, 1866. ) 

Of course you have heard of Bob Ruly (Bois 
Brule) ! 

Likewise of his cousin Bob Long (Bois Blanc) ! 

As a general thing I have remarked that the pro- 
nunciation of the English language is not success- 
fully applicable to the French. When, at St. Louis, 
for instance, they tell you of the "Weed Bush carts 
that formerly came in, you are entirely at a loss to 
recognize Vide Poche. 

The Dardanelles, 1 too, somewhat puzzles us, when 
informed that it is French, for we are " up " in the 
Bosphorus and Constantinople, and know better. 
Finally, when the thing is explained, and you are 
advised that it is a way they have of pronouncing 
Dort cVun ceil, you are ready to believe any thing 
in distorted orthography — except, perhaps, Picket 

A distinguished major-general of our army, who, 
after many years of arduous service as lieutenant, 
had reached the then high grade of brevet captain 
(he is quite an old gentleman now, has well-won 
laurels, a long, gray beard, and a little boy who dom- 
ineers over him), encamped some — well, ever-so- 

1 A well-known locality on the Arkansas River. 


many years ago, on the banks of this stream, and 
was puzzled by its name. 

Picket Wire? Why Picket Wire? Picket, by 
itself, one could understand. But Picket Wire? 
Never was any wire in the country. And then it's 
English, while every mountain and stream in this 
whole region has a French, Indian, or Spanish 
name. Picket Wire ! His sleep was disturbed, puz- 
zling over it. 

Inquiry renewed next day. Every one said they 
had always heard it called " Picket Wire," and that 
was all they knew about it. At last a native was 
caught, who, on being asked the name of the stream, 
gave it instantly its beautiful Spanish appellation, 
" Rio de las Animas." 

Ah! here w r as a light. "The River of Souls." 
Picket Wire — corruption of the French " Purga- 
toire" — the transition to Picketwire not being so 
violent when we recollect that the Canadian and 
American French Creole pronunciation of oire is 
sharp, and slightly nasal. Thus, histware, for his- 
toire (a as in fare), voulware for vouloir, purgat- 
ware for purgatoire, etc. 

I gave you my theory of the origin of the word 
Platte. I think I can perceive that of Rio de las 

In his diary of November 15, 1806, Pike speaks 
of encamping on a fork of the Arkansas, on the 
south side, bearing south 25° west, and he says, "As 
the Spanish troops appeared to have borne up it, we 
encamped," etc. South 25° west is precisely the 
course of the Picket Wire, and applies to no other 
stream that Pike could then have reached. The 
troops in question were probably en route to Mex- 


ico. It is evident from what Pike says that some 
days had elapsed since they passed. They in all 
probability reached it on the 2d of November, All 
Souls' Day, and according to their custom — in- 
stance Florida, Corpus Christi, etc. — named it " Las 
Animas," in commemoration of the day. 

From the Arkansas, from the Huerfano, from all 
the intervening high points, we still see the Peak 
looming up more grandly to the eye than any mount- 
ain I have ever beheld. We passed not far from 
the spot where Pike first saw it, and could not be 
surprised at his deception as to its distance. 

Crossing the Arkansas, we find the character of 
the plain suddenly changed. The sage bush grows 
larger, a new cactus appears, spreading, crooked, and 
five feet high. It is the cactus called the great cylin- 

Yesterday we marched thirty-three miles without 

I have not mentioned the Spanish Peaks, although 
they have been in full view for a week. They are 
not as high as Long or Pike, but of exquisitely grace- 
ful outline, and so closely resembling each other as 
to be called by the Indians " Wa-iva-to-yas" " The 
Twins," and by the Spaniards " Las dos Hermanas" 
" The two Sisters." 

The sun shines brightly every day in this month 
of July. I am in latitude thirty-seven, and yet I 
do not expect to know what summer heat is until 
next year. Since coming into this region none of 
us have felt it. The plains rise steadily from Kansas 
to the Rocky Mountains, and at almost any point 
on the plains along their base in Colorado and New 
Mexico, you are at a greater elevation than on the 



highest of the Alleghanies, or even Mount Washing- 
ton in the White Mountains. From a Government 
survey made in 1854, by Lieutenant Whipple, it ap- 
pears that the approach to the Santa ~F6 Mountains, 
from the Missouri, is by a gentle ascent from an 
elevation of four hundred and sixty feet at Fort 
Smith, to near 6500 feet at the base of the mount- 
ains. To reach this elevation, a horizontal distance 
of about eight hundred miles is traversed. 

Now, as to the temperature, take the thermomet- 
rical figures as recorded from day to day on our 
march : — 

June 23 
June 24 . 
June 25 
June 26 . 
June 27 
June 28 . 
July 3 
July 4 . 
July 9 
July 10 . 
July 11 

But these figures do not express the limpidity and 
exhilaration of the atmosphere. In the morning we 
wear our cloaks, and at night we sleep under two 
blankets. True, we are in the open air. One, in a 
house, would suffice. Woolen clothes are always 
" de rigueur" and the sensation of " peripatetic bath " 
I used to have all summer in the States is now un- 
known to me. 

Nor do the figures given express the degree of 
heat, or rather, of coolness. The warmth of summer 

3.30 a. m. 

3 P. M. 

9 P. M 

. 65 






. 53 






. 53 






. 54 






. 48 






. 62 




is here greatly modified by the peculiar dryness of the 
atmosphere, which carries off the perspiration with 
great rapidity, cooling the surface of the body, and 
leaving of summer only that which is pleasant. 

It is the most delightful summer climate in the 
United States, made so, doubtless, by the atmospheric 
influence of the grand Rocky Range. 

" The mountain wind ! . . . 

. . . When in the sultry time, 
He troops him from his vast cerulean hall, 
He seems the breath of a celestial clime ! 
As if from Heaven's wide open gates did flow 
Health and refreshment on the world below." 

After crossing the Apishpa, we mount a divide, 
and, although with relation to the mountains we are 
at the bottom of a huge bowl, our elevation is 6580 
feet over sea level. Here presents itself the most 
magnificent view, in extent, of a chain of mountains 
in all its variety of outline and elevation, that I can 
conceive. The eye ranges from Long's Peak to the 
north, passing Pike, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 
the Spanish Peaks, the Wet Mountains, down to the 
extremity of the Raton chain — the whole connected 
with intermediate groups, with the dazzling back- 
ground of the Snowy Range, and the bright sky that 
lights the shore of the Pacific. 

You have before you in this view the arc of a 
circle of at least two hundred and fifty miles in ex- 
tent. Such a spectacle is impossible anywhere else 
without the condition of this exquisite atmosphere. 
There is, as I write, an intense delicacy and clear- 
ness in the air that I never, until now, could have 
imagined. The opposite side of the river is a semi- 
circle of green fields, crowned with mountains. The 
vividness of color and distinct outline of the smallest 

98 Fischer's peak. — Mexican fair sex. 

object gives to the landscape, in a semicircular sweep 
of three miles, at a distance of four, the effect to the 
eye of a beautifully-executed cabinet picture on the 
wall of your room. 

This morning we had the Raton Pass apparently 
just before us. You could not, by any effort, imagine 
it to be more than six miles. It was just thirty-four. 
Its highest point — an abrupt, bluff termination of 
the range — is its northern extremity, and called 
after a German artillery officer, who commanded a 
battery in Kearney's " Army of the West." The 
"Army of the West" — this was in 1846 — was 
composed of 2000 men all told. We have seen 
armies of a different size since then ! 

Well, Captain Fischer encamped where I am now 
writing, at the foot of the Peak, which he involun- 
tarily baptized. Rising early next morning, he looked 
up at the bluff. To go there was, evidently, a mere 
promenade. He would make it. Leaving word that 
he would return to breakfast, he started off. There 
was an artillery company in camp that whole day 
without a captain. So there was that night, and 
the next day. He returned on the evening of the 
second day, a very tired and a wiser man. But he 
had started to go to the Peak — and he went there. 

The distance he had to travel, going and coming, 
over rocky and steep ground, could not have been 
less than twelve miles ; and " Fischer's Peak," the 
point, remains to this day. 

Just below me, down the river, is the village of 
Trinidad. On entering it, I saw my first lovely 
Mexican women. They were not dancing, nor smok- 
ing cigaritos, nor manipulating their rebosos, nor 
(striking "the light guitar." On the contrary — quite 


the reverse — they (six or seven of them) were plas- 
tering the outside of an adobe building with mud. 

This is the first Mexican village we have seen. 
We are not enchanted. I would rather not give 
way to first impressions, though, and will tell you 
how such an "outfit" affects me after I have seen 
more of them. 

Banks of the Rio Cimarron, ) 
New Mexico, July 11, 1866. J 

Starting from the foot of Fischer's Peak this 
morning, we make the Raton Pass — winding among 
canons, dells, gorges, rocks, and pines, up and up 
for fourteen miles to the summit of the divide sep- 
arating the Cimarron and the Rayado, where we had 
a fine and farewell view of Pike and the Spanish 
Peaks. Intervening mountain ranges and spurs will 
hide them hereafter. Our road now alternates be- 
tween high divides and stretches of the plain or mesa. 
Mesa is Spanish for a table. We have seen them 
ever since we approached the Arkansas. At first, 
little, conical hills, fast wearing away, and sinking 
down to the level of the plain ; as we progress, they 
increase in size and height — their ends sloped off 
like those of a perfectly-formed bastion. 

They are of horizontal strata, evidently once con- 
tinuous, and forming, in bygone years, a plateau 
raised above the general level of the present prairie. 
First stripped of their trees and vegetation, and worn 
away by the atmosphere and the elements, they have 
been gradually cut up by ravines, and, finally, sep- 
arated into what we now see, — table-shaped eleva- 
tions, truncated cones, and flat-topped mounds. 

A new ranch is going up near our encampment. 
It is the joint-stock concern of a Canadian and a 


Massachusetts man. They have large droves of 
cattle, which cost them not a cent to keep, neither 
salt nor fodder, not even in winter. All the milk on 
the place they sell readily at their own door at 
twenty-five cents per quart, and butter at one dollar 
and twenty-five cents a pound. 

One of them, the Canadian, confided to me his 
determination to get a " States' wife." 


Banks op the Ocate, New Mexico, July 12, 1866. 

A great deal of banks, but very little of the Ocate. 
Not a drop of water in it, where we encamp ; but 
lower down, I see a large flock of sheep driven to 
and from the river, there probably being water in 
some of the holes among the rocks. 

We this morning saw three flocks of sheep (with 
a large admixture of goats), numbering about 8000, 
and shortly afterward a large gray wolf leisurely 
trotted across the head of our column, stopping from 
time to time and coolly turning to scrutinize our 

Do you want to know the rate of luxuries here ? 
I inquired the prices of several articles at the ranch 
near by : claret (such as you can get at five dollars 
per dozen), two dollars a bottle ; whiskey — poor 
stuff — fifteen dollars a gallon ; cheese, one dollar 
per pound, &c. 

The mesas we passed over to-day were particularly 
fine. After traversing a very long one, we ascended 
a sharp, high hill to the table of another, the limits 
of which we could see toward the plain, the eastern 
outline of its elevation, doubtless, presenting the same 
appearance to the traveller on the plain that a still 
nearer one does to us. 

Most of those we see are worn down to a horizon- 
tal stratum of sedimentary rock, large masses of 


which fall from the edges as the ground washes from 
under. Gradually, by this process, in the lapse of 
years, the entire ledge falls, leaving the deep stratum 
of earth beneath to the mercy of the elements, which 
soon sweep it away ; and so on, repeating the pro- 
cess with the alternating strata of stone and earth, 
until it is brought down with the level of the 

And what becomes, do you ask, or has become, 
of the incalculable mass of detritus thus worn away ? 
For ages and ages it has been sweeping down the 
creeks, the streams, and the rivers, into the Platte, 
the Arkansas, and the Red, into the Missouri or the 
Mississippi, bringing lower and lower down the 
mouth of the latter, making heaving, spongy, and 
boggy swamps, above the surface of the water, 
which, gradually gaining the consistency of wet 
prairie, finally harden into solid land and create the 
immense tracts of territory that we now call Arkan- 
sas and Mississippi and Louisiana. And this process 
is still going on to-da}-. Millions of acres of rocks, 
trees, stones, and earth, disintegrated and pulverized 
by the elements, and washed down half across the 
continent, daily raise the bed of the Father of Wa- 
ters, creating other new acres, and carrying the Delta 
of the Mississippi still out, and out, and further out 
into the ocean. 

Four Onion, New Mexico, July 13, 1866. 

We marched through mist and rain all the morn- 
ing. Met several Mexicans on mules and burros 
(donkeys). A Mexican or Indian on horseback is 
readily distinguished at a distance by the ceaseless 
swinging of his legs. This swing is far from ac- 
cording with our ideas of fine horsemanship. For 


that matter, there is much really good riding that 
departs very widely from the rules of the manege, 
or riding-school, and is by no means tolerated at 
West Point or Saumur. Thus, for instance, it is 
thought quite the thing to ride with long stirrups, — 
an exquisite rider scarcely touching stirrup with the 
tip of his long- soled boot. Now, the Cossacks, Bed- 
ouins, and Camanches are thought, by judges, to 
be rather good horsemen, and, at any rate, spend the 
greater part of their life on horseback. All these 
people ride with short, and some with very short 
stirrups. The ratiocination (racy-horsey-nation) of 
the matter is plain. They throw the lance, the lasso, 
or handle the sword, pistol, rifle, or bow, seated in 
the saddle. For such an effort the muscular strength 
demanded of the arms and upper part of the body 
cannot be successfully put forth without the leverage, 
so to speak, of a firm foot pressure. Swing a man 
in the air by his waistband, and see how far he can 
send a projectile. With merely a seat in the saddle 
he is not much better off, and needing the foothold, 
the Camanche, like a sensible savage, takes it. 

Fort Union is about one hundred miles from Santa 
F6, and on account of its situation between the 
plains proper and the mountains, has been made 
the depot of military stores for all this region. In 
fact it is of less importance as a garrison than as a 

Here, our escort and wagon train stop to recruit 
and fit up, while those who " have a call " to go to 
Santa Fe, and those who can obtain leave, start to- 
morrow for the capital of New Mexico. 

General Davidson, Second Cavalry, remains in 
command of the camp. He has seen long and 


arduous duty on this part of the frontier. As lieuten- 
ant in the First Regiment United States Dragoons, 
he served in New Mexico for many years ; and in 
1853 commanded a detachment that had, with the 
Jicarilla Apaches, one of the most desperate fights 
in our Indian record. The action took place in the 
Embuda Mountains, some twenty miles southwest 
of Taos. With sixty men he fought two hundred 
and forty warriors, in a craggy mountain defile of 
their own choosing. No better position could have 
been taken by the savages in the entire range. 
They were, moreover, on foot, and without their 
families. The fight was long and desperate, and 
Lieutenant Davidson was obliged to draw off his 
men with a loss of twenty killed * and left on the 
field, and of the surviving forty, thirty-six, including 
himself, wounded. 

Kit Carson, in speaking of the affair, says : 
" Nearly every person engaged in, and who survived 
that day's bloody battle, has since told me that his 
commanding officer never once sought shelter, but 
stood manfully exposed to the aim of the Indians, 
encouraging his men, and apparently unmindful of 
his own life. In the retreat, he was as cool and 
collected as if under the guns of his fort. The only 
anxiety he exhibited was for the safety of his re- 
maining men." 

Mora, New Mexico, July 16, 1866. 

Mora is a Mexican village embosomed in the 

mountains, eighteen miles from Fort Union, which 

I was strongly recommended to see. Rising by a 

rough, rocky road from the broad, flat valley in 

1 Kit Carson informs rne, " There were twenty-two; I helped bury them 


which Fort Union is situated, to the mesa west of 
it, some five miles across, we pass through a succes- 
sion of beautiful valleys, well cultivated and irri- 
gated, dotted frequently with flocks of cattle, sheep, 
goats, and burros, and hamlets in groups of adobe 
houses of the usual sombre complexion ; wheat and 
corn fields, looking well, neither grain as high as we 
are accustomed to see at home; but few fences, — 
sheep, cattle, and goats being tended by herders 
through the day, and folded or penned at night. It 
was amusing to see the pigs picketed, lariat, pin 
and all. Piggy bears it with all the dignity of a 
mule. I have not seen chickens treated in that mil- 
itary style, but hear that it is common here. 

The architecture of a Mexican village is neither 
striking nor imposing. I believe I can convey a 
correct idea of its general effect at a short distance, 
by stating it thus. Take one hundred and sixty- 
seven brick-kilns (such as we have at home) ready 
for burning ; divide them all horizontally, and a few 
in addition perpendicularly ; place them about on 
the ground in spots, with a sickly and attenuated 
effort at streets — et voila ! — there 's your Mexican 
village. No trees, no shrubs, no grass-plats. 

On our arrival in the evening, a baile was imme- 
diately gotten up in our honor. They used to call 
these things fandangoes, but we are growing gen- 
teel, and now baile is the word. Being expected, we 
young fellows went, and were received in a large, 
rough-looking room, scarcely recovered from its as- 
tonishment at the hasty washing it had just received. 
I need scarcely say that the room was on the ground 
floor, where all is ground floor, and cellars. Second 
floors and attics are unknown. Our " hall of daz- 

106 A " BAILE." 

zling white " had a few dim lights of oil and candle 
on the wall, and a 

" Tiinotheus on high,'' 

with two or three assistants on a table at the upper 
end. The ladies fair, meekly sitting on benches and 
chairs along one side of the room, occasionally re- 
freshing themselves with a cigarito, then and there 
fashioned and shaped and filled by their fair hands ; 
men with hats on or hats off, smoking or not smok- 
ing, as best suited them ; the women all well and 
modestly dressed, and of perfect propriety in de- 
meanor and behavior, — the Spanish or Mexican 
costume evidently yielding to Americanization, a 
preference for reds, yellows, and the strong shades 
evidently prevailing, — the tints they were called 
upon to adorn being chocolatewards in their ten- 

The gentleman's invitation to the dance (which 
were quadrilles and Spanish waltz, neither gallop 
nor polka) — no introduction needed — being the 
merest intimation, as going up, and, without par- 
ley, leading off the damsel, or, possibly, standing in 
the middle of the floor, and beckoning her to come 
to him. After each dance, lady led out by cavalier 
to what is equivalent to a bar, for refreshments. 
This part of the festivity, strictly obligato. 

To do the fair one justice, she is usually moderate, 
vino or dulces being her stereotyped answer to " What 
will the Senorita have ? " 

Dulces is generally a stick or two of candy, which 
is carefully bestowed in the handkerchief for future 

" For though on pleasure she was bent, 
She had a frugal mind." 

ST. VRAIN. 107 

One of our party, though — the young Siberian, 
Sawemoff — had an experience in the refreshment 
line, rather refreshing. 

A pretty Moravian, " all in white arrayed," struck 
his fancy, and having danced a set with her, he 
made an ineffectual attempt to lead her to a seat. 
She did not take that view of the position, and held 
her ground, likewise his arm. 

" So," says he, " I slung her round again, and 
when that was over, was sure she would go. Not 
a bit of it, but just kept me. ' Confound it!' said 
I; 'here goes for a third time;' and when it was 
over, I just dissolved the partnership, somehow — I 
hardly know how myself. I had scarcely done so, 
when it suddenly struck me that I had n't treated 
her. I don't speak much Spanish, so I got L. to 
tender an apology, my arm, and instant reparation. 
Went out ; asked her what she 'd have. She re- 
plied : ' Vino? 

" ' Vino I ' says I, with emphasis, to the bar- 

" 'Si, vino/ said she. 

"'Si, vino,'' I repeated, with more emphasis ; and 
in less than three minutes I had to pay four dollars 
for a small bottle of the vilest champagne you ever 

Mora is the residence of Lieutenant- Colonel Ce- 
ran St. Vrain, one of the most distinguished of the 
band of early pioneer traders and trappers — Bent, 
Kit Carson, Bridger, Maxwell — who survives. Col- 
onel St. Vrain's wealth in land is very great, and he 
owns, under a Spanish grant, one tract of land a 
hundred miles square, bounded by the Snowy 
Range, the Rio de los Animas, and the Arkansas. 


St. Vrain was, with Kit Carson, found on the side 
of his country in the hour of trouble, and threw the 
influence of his high personal character, great popu- 
larity, and immense wealth, in the scale of freedom 
against slavery. 

The population of the Parish of Mora, extending 
up and down the river, is 10,000, nearly pure Mexi- 
can, there being besides but few Americans, and the 
inevitable trader of Teutonic origin and Hebraic 
persuasion, who keeps store in Mora, as he does in 
every town in Mexico, large or small. 

One of the American residents introduced him- 
self to me before I had been there ten minutes, and, 
in a burst of confidence (he was not unlike Mr. 
Micawber in general appearance), proffered his serv- 
ices as guide, or bosom friend, whichever I might 
most need. He was, he gave me to understand, Dr. 
C, renowned 

" Dans tout l'univers, 
Et en mille autres Iieux." 

He was candid, open-hearted, unwashed, and mel- 
low, was Dr. C. He took, he remarked, things as 
he found them. He also had the appearance of 
taking spiritus frumenti and spiritus vini Gallici. 
His practice was, he said, large and remunerative, 
but, evidently, his investments were not in dry- 

" Ask anybody here," — he went on to inform me, 
— " and they '11 tell you C. is a No. 1 doctor. C. 's 
a great surgeon. C. drinks — that 's true ; but you 
just get C. right, and he 's your man for a great 

" Sir, I have arrayed myself against this Gov- 
ernment. I am a secessionist, Sir ; I say it boldly ; 


I don't conceal it. A man's judgment, you see, is 
a good deal affected by his interests. I owned one 
hundred and fifty slaves, and they ' went up,' Sir — 
yes, Sir, ' went up.' [I was informed afterward that 
he never owned a slave, nor any thing else.] 

" Now, Sir, this is what I say : This thing 's all 
over ; the war 's done ; and I say, just let the Gov- 
ernment alone ; don't disturb the Government ; let 
the Government go on ; I am willing, for one, to 
let it go on." 

Which I thought very handsome conduct indeed 
on the part of Dr. C. 


Kosloski's Ranch, River Pecos, ) 
New Mexico, July 18, I860. ) 

The bright and beautiful weather of last Sunday 
at Mora, brought out the rural population of the 
neighborhood in great force, and, as we considered 
it, for our inspection. We went to the church, which 
appears to be a modern adobe building, neat and 
clean interior, little or no ornament, dirt floor. When 
the women are tired of kneeling, they — not to put 
too fine a point upon it — squat. But they do it 

After church, I amused myself an hour or two 
going through the groups crowded about the market- 
place — men, women and children, and burros, in 
picturesque confusion. Saw no beauty, either mas- 
culine or feminine. The reboso appears to have 
given way to the ordinary shawl, which the women 
use to shield themselves equally against the rays of 
the sun and impertinence of stare. They use no 
other head-covering. The principal female occupa- 
tion, as I passed among them, appeared to be chat- 
tering, nursing the babies, and passing their lit cigar- 
itos from mouth to mouth. 

Leaving Fort Union, and passing on beyond the 
divide which separates the waters of the Arkansas 
from the Rio Grande, and in sight of Las Vegas, we 
come to the field of Burnside's fight with, and defeat 
of, the Apaches. 


Las Vegas (or Begas, as it is pronounced here, 
the Mexicans not having the fear of the Spanish 
Academy before their eyes, and calling Vegas, Be- 
gas, and Vicente, Bisente), a village of some two 
thousand souls, is prettily situated on the side of the 
mountain that rises to the west. 

Here is the distinctly marked termination of the 
plains, which, as we look north upon them, fall in 
gentle, green and grassy undulations, — stretching 
like the ocean, as far as the eye can reach. Like 
islands in the sea, isolated buttes and solitary mesas 
rise from its surface. Crossing the stony bed of the 
creek, and passing the alternating fields and adobes, 
we enter the Plaza. English and Spanish signs in- 
termingled, meet the eye. " Vienta de las Vegas" 
"Bakery," "Effectos," &c. 

It was in this Plaza, just twenty years ago, that 
General Kearney, entering New Mexico with a 
small army of 2000 men, told the assembled al- 
calde and people : " I have come among you, by the 
orders of my Government, to take possession of this 
country, and extend over it the laws of the United 
States. We come among you as friends, not as en- 
emies — as protectors, not as conquerors. ... I 
shall not expect you to take up arms and follow me, 
but I now tell you that those who remain peaceably 
at home shall be protected by me in their property, 
their persons, and their religion, and not a pepper 
[those who know a Mexican's fondness for chile 
(chile) Colorado and chile verde, will appreciate the 
favor] nor an onion shall be disturbed or taken by 
my troops without pay, or by consent of the owner. 
But, listen! he who promises to be quiet, and is 
found in arms against me, I will hang ! " 


General Kearney made himself clearly understood 
on the occasion. 

Soon after leaving Las Vegas, we strike the pines, 
and our road winds among them two miles, until we 
reach the Puerto Cito Canon, where it sweeps boldly 
and gracefully to the right, on a floor as smooth as 
a ball-room, into the gorge, which, evidently, from 
the water-marks high up on the inside walls, was, 
of old, the outlet of some lake or river. 

Two miles further, is another gorge, equally fine, 
where the mountains of red sand-stone rise in hori- 
zontal strata more than a thousand feet above us. 
Every variety of the pine, from the majestic green 
spire fit for the deck of some tall admiral, to the 
modest and useful nut-bearing pinon and cedar, 
grow here luxuriantly. 

It was just before reaching the Raton Pass that 
the peculiar growth of cedar in this country attract- 
ed our attention. Much of it resembles perfectly 
our large apple-trees in size and habit. Where they 
grew sparse and scattered, it was difficult to per- 
suade yourself you were not in an apple orchard. 

The afternoon brought us to Tecalote. Quaint 
old adobe church on the Plaza ; the fonda, or tav- 
ern, opposite ; and around, the usual slices and sec- 
tions of an unbaked brick-kiln. 

The open portal of a dwelling opposite gave us 
a view of the interior court, or patio, with its sur- 
rounding gallery and rooms opening out above it, 
answering precisely the description of a Moorish 
interior, from which — through the Spaniards of 
Andalusia, the glorious home of Boabdil el Chico — 
it is doubtless, architecturally descended or copied. 
On the roofs were four or five women with their 


faces covered — Moorish again — by their rebosos, 
as the Oriental women hide theirs with the yashmak. 

Is yashmak right ? Perhaps not, for I have no 
Lalla Rookh to refer to. At any rate, I am fully 
certain it's neither bulbul nor yataghan, and feel 
quite as much at ease about it as Mrs. Nickleby was 
concerning the name she knew so well : — 

" If it was n't Murphy, it was Rogers, and that 
was the only doubt she had." 

At twilight, the driving into the village of the 
flocks and kids to be milked and folded for the night, 
told us plainly we were in a pastoral country. It was 
just such a scene as you might look on at Martigny, 
or any other Alpine village, in Switzerland. 

Soon after our arrival, one valid and one invalid 
fiddle, aggravated by a husky guitar, emerge from 
a portal, traverse some of the devious paths of the 
city, and return across the Plaza. That is the " In- 
vitation to the Waltz," they give in Tecalote. It 
does n't at all resemble Von Weber's, and consti- 
tuted an announcement that a ball was to come off 
that evening. 

Fifteen miles further on is San Jose, a large and 
flourishing village on the Pecos. I remarked near 
the road, in a gloomy defile, a large pile of stones, 
surmounted by a cross. It marks the spot where a 
Mexican of Santa Fe, named Pino, was assassin- 
ated a few years since. He was returning from 
San Miguel, where he had won a large amount of 
gold at " monte." He had gone by San Jose, while 
his murderers took across the country and waylaid 
him at nightfall. 

Ascending the hill just before reaching Kosloski's, 
you have a beautiful view of the Pecos Valley, in 


the midst of which stands a natural elevation sur- 
rounded and partially covered by two remarkable 
ruins — the Pueblo village, and the ancient Catholic 
church, built by the Spanish Franciscans in the last 
century. They are referred to and admired by all 
the explorers and travellers who have written on this 
country. I will return to them in a future letter. 

No emigration of farmers and permanent settlers 
has as yet reached New Mexico from our older 
States. Quite a number of Americans have ranches 
and farms, but they are, almost without exception, 
soldiers who have served here in our armies, become 
accustomed to the country, partially learned the lan- 
guage, and, in some cases, married Mexican wives, 
and finally purchased land and settled. Neverthe- 
less, inducements to come here are not wanting. 
An admirable climate, in one of the most beautiful 
pastoral countries the eye ever rested upon, where 
two crops a year are often obtained, and where cat- 
tle and sheep can be kept out the year round, are 
some of them. 

Our host this evening is a Pole, who came a boy 
to this country, served many years in the First Regi- 
ment United States Dragoons, and after his dis- 
charge settled in this valley, where he now has 
about him wife, children, flocks, herds, and lands. 

Arroyo Hondo (six miles from 
Santa F<5), July 19, 1866. I 

Arroyo Hondo means deep creek, although arroyo 
is generally a dry gulch or ravine. Between rio 
(river) and arroyo, I do not find any Spanish word 
in use here to express what we mean by creek. 

The rain of yesterday hung with diamonds and 

pigeon's ranch. 115 

gems the beautiful cotton-woods and pines we enter 
soon after leaving the Pecos. The valley is well 
cultivated, and a rich farm, more than a mile in 
length, extends up to Pigeon's Ranch. Pigeon is 
the nickname given to a Frenchman named Valle, 
who formerly owned it. From this point the road 
leads into Apache Canon, a remarkable gorge, some 
ten miles in length, with hills on either side from 
one to two thousand feet in height. The Canon is 
remarkable as the scene of two battles, one of which 
was fought, and the other was not fought. It is 
rather a nice place for fighting, as there is no point 
of its width out of cannon-shot, and you are, almost 
anywhere, within point-blank gunshot fire. The ac- 
tion that was not fought, was when Armijo, with 
4000 men and six pieces of artillery, took position 
there in August, 1846, to check the advance of 
Kearney's small army, and " hurl back the foul in- 
vader." The position taken up by Armijo could 
have been made impregnable with four hundred 
men. But Armijo did not choose to stay, and in- 
stead of point-blank artillery, Kearney received a 
letter from Armijo's lieutenant-governor, informing 
him that Governor Armijo had travelled, and that 
he (Vigil) would be most happy to extend to him 
the courtesies of Santa Fe. The battle that did 
come off, was that of Pigeon's Ranch, or the Glori- 
etta (March 2, 1862), between the Texas rebels, six- 
teen hundred strong, commanded by Sibley, and our 
forces, consisting of two companies of the First 
Colorado Regiment, and a few regulars, under com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Slough, formerly of Cin- 
cinnati, and now Chief Justice of this Territory. 
The fight lasted nearly all day, and was settled by 


a detachment of our men who scaled the mount- 
ains, got around to the rebel rear, and destroyed all 
their wagons, ammunition, and stores of every de- 
scription. This detachment was commanded, virtu- 
ally, although not nominally, by Major Lewis, of 
the Eighteenth United States Infantry. I never 
heard that he was either brevetted or promoted for 
his gallant and efficient conduct. Served him right 
for not being on duty in some comfortable, quiet 
place. If he could have had a nicely cushioned, 
patent revolving arm-chair to sit in during the war, 
he might have been a brigadier-general at least. 

The top of the mountain gives us, with an ex- 
cellent road, a picturesque drive among the tall 
pines, and great masses of rock, among which, the 
granite, almost a stranger to our eyes, crops out 
profusely. The view of the Rio Grande Valley, in 
the warm light of an afternoon sun, opens beauti- 
fully as you descend. It is here some thirty miles 
broad, widening, as it goes south, to more than a 
hundred. To our right, the mass of round-topped 
mountains that overlook Santa Fe, themselves over- 
looked by El Pilone ; to the left, down the valley, the 
gracefully outlined Gold Mountains, and the heavy 
bluff of San Lorenzo, at whose foot lies Albu- 

And so, winding through narrow streets, lined by 
adobe houses, fields, and gardens, among which the 
irrigating acequias go murmuring and gurgling, we 
enter Santa Fe. 


Algodoxes, New Mexico, July 27, 1866. 

1 have been in New Mexico nearly three weeks, 
have made an industrious, if not an intelligent and 
effectual use of eyes and ears, have had facilities for 
going and coming, and have gone and come a great 
deal — asked questions innumerable, and received 
answers various, de rebus omnibus, et quibusdam aliis, 
reaching conclusions decided on some subjects, while 
holding opinion in abeyance upon others. 

Much that I shall have to say concerning Santa 
Fe, is applicable to all New Mexico. I shall, there- 
fore, defer for the present reporting my notes here, 
and when I have seen more, will communicate 
results afterward, under appropriate headings and 
grouping of subjects. 

Meantime, like unto the honest and liberal trades- 
man who giveth weight full and measure overheap- 
mg — although the extreme scope of my trip is an- 
nounced as " St. Louis to Santa Fe," I will add a 
journey to Albuquerque, and a trip to the Zandia 
and Gold Mountains, among the mines and placers, 
making altogether some two hundred additional 
miles of travel. 

That concluded, I shall return to Santa Fe, and 
endeavor to give you a pen-and-ink panorama of the 
same, adding thereto such information as I have 
been able to obtain, and such conclusions as I reach, 


upon some or all of the following New Mexican 
topics : History, Religion, Manners and Customs, 
Amusements, American Influence, Agriculture, Min- 
ing, Pueblo Indians, etc. . 

This morning we left Santa Fe', and, passing 
through suburbs of adobe houses and grain fields, 
■we found ourselves, at the end of four miles, out on 
the sandy plain covered with cactus, scattered and 
stunted cedars, and liberally intersected by arroyos 
(dry beds of streams — generally what we call gullies, 
although sometimes, as in the case of the Arroyo 
Hondo, large enough for a creek). At about eighteen 
miles, we perceive quantities of igneous stones, sco- 
riae, and lava ; but little grass, large masses of wild 
verbena, asters, and the purple flower Cleome vntegri- 

We cross the Galisteo and other creeks, and see 
but little witer in their broad, pebbled, and stony 
beds, with sands of primitive rock and ravaged banks 
showing their mountain origin. 

At thirty-six miles we strike the Rio Grande. 
Acequias now begin to appear, and we are soon 
among cultivated fields of corn and wheat belonging 
to the Pueblo Indians of San Felipe. An " outfit" 
of a wagon, and two mules preceding us, stopped to 
" noon " by the roadside, and the animals were let 
loose quite " contagious" — as Rory O'More has it — 
to a corn-field. The operation made a damaging 
prospect for the crop. A little further on I thought 
I saw some bushes moving, on an elevation to our 
left, and I made out two young Indians, signaling 
to some one behind them. Presently, over the crest 
of the hill came a mounted Pueblo in full gallop. 
With his knees well gathered up on his Indian pony, 


and body slightly bent forward, he made the best of 
time toward the mule outfit. How they settled it I 
did not stop to see. These watches over their crops 
.are constantly kept up, as they must not only protect 
the fields from intruders (the fields it will be remem- 
bered, are fenceless), but the acequias from accident. 

Presently we come to a field from which the wheat 
had just been cut, and which a Pueblo is planting 
in beans. His costume is rudimentary and not op- 
pressive. It consists of a shirt and a hoe. 

A few miles further, and I fell upon one of those 
rare, sunny scenes, carrying us back to pictures of 
Arcadia, in which poets and painters delight, and 
the like of which can only be found in the meridional 
countries of Europe. 

On the grassy bank of a large acequia, under the 
shade of a spreading cotton-wood, were a Pueblo 
man, woman, and girl. The Indian, finely formed, 
with long, black hair, naked to the hips, dressed in short 
tunic, loose linen pants, and deer-skin leggings, stood 
leaning on his bow and arrows, looking down at the 
woman, who, seated, was receiving from the hand of a 
pretty Indian girl of fourteen a draught of water from 
one of those classic-shaped earthen vases made by 
the Pueblos, the sight of which takes one back to 
Etruria and Egypt. The papoose at the woman's 
back peered round at us with its little black beads of 
eyes, the girl returned our " buenos dias" and the 
picture faded from view, but not from memory. I 
always look at these Pueblos with pleasure. There 
is no scent of carnage, rapine, or cruelty about them. 
I have, moreover, invariably found them pointedly 
respectful and polite to our American uniform. 

Algodones is forty-five miles from Santa Fe, im- 


mediately on the east bank of the Rio Grande, and 
furnishes two fondas, or taverns, as the exponents 
of a population of some seven hundred souls. It is 
situated, apparently, at the foot of the Zandia Mount- 
ains, which are, in fact, fifteen miles off. The main 
elevation of this short range (Zandia) is 7000 feet 
above the river, and 12,000 feet above the sea level. 
At the fonda I was waited on at supper by an 
Apache Indian woman — not an uncommon circum- 
stance in New Mexico. The Utes and Pueblos, 
friendly Indians, who in their fights with the Nava- 
joes, Apaches, and Camanches take children among 
their prisoners, almost invariably sell them to the 
Mexicans for slaves. This question of Indian slaves 
is one of the first subjects that engaged my attention 
in New Mexico, and I have endeavored by inquiry 
to ascertain their number. The estimates of persons 
most likely to know, vary so widely that I find it 
impossible to reach any satisfactory conclusion. Kit 
Carson told me he thought they did not exceed 2000. 
General Carleton estimates their number at 4000. 
As we sat in the placita, or open interior square of 
the house, after supper, we were much amused and 
not a little edified at a discussion that suddenly 
sprang up between a Mexican (Sefior Guttierez), 
who speaks English very well,, and a former high 
official of the Territory. The question was as to the 
condition of the Indian children sold as above stated. 
The official presented their position as we used to 
be accustomed to hear slave-holders speak of that of 
their slaves — they were very happy, well cared for, 
well fed, treated kindly, and all the usual bosh talked 
south of Mason and Dixon's line, and, unfortunately, 
too much north of it, on the subject. The Mexican 
cut the matter short by saying, — 


" You know as well as I do, sir, that although 
they are sometimes kindly treated, it is generally the 
reverse, and, get round the matter as you may, they 
are, after all, slaves, and nothing but slaves." 

At this place, I met with the padre, or parish 
priest — Padre Hays, who was educated at the St. 
Louis University. He has been here nine years, and 
is the only American priest in the Territory. He has 
acquired the Spanish language so thoroughly that 
he says he would rather preach in Spanish than 
English. The Pueblo Indians of the neighborhood 
are under his charge. 

It is really refreshing while at this place, to hear a 
word terminating in es, as Algodones, pronounced as 
it should be — simply, naturally, in consonance with 
the language — and not put to the torture. The 
pronunciation of the terminal es that has of late 
years come into vogue in the United States is, to 
say the least, painful to listen to. Some people can- 
not tell you of Demosthenes, iEschines, the Andes, 
or Carl Formes, without racking your ears with 
Demostheneeze, JRschineeze, the Andeeze and Carl 
Formeeze. Gentlemen from Cambridge and Yale do 
this thing with coolness and imperturbability, and, 
indeed, rather appear to enjoy it. These half-Indians 
of Algodones pronounce their town's name as Chris- 
tians should. Even the pagan Greeks never talked 
about Qemostheneeze. If one must needs of es make 
eeze, why not, to be consistent, say at once, as the 
Yorkshire country bumpkin is made to in English 
farce, " Yeeze, zur, I wool." 

122 ZANDIA. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 28, 1866. 

From Santa Fe* to Albuquerque, a distance of 
seventy miles, you descend 1500 feet. Consequently, 
the gentle zephyrs are of warmer temperature here — 
as our sensations and the thermometer both informed 
us immediately on our arrival. At Algodones, 
Fahrenheit, at six a. m., said sixty-five degrees. 
Here, at Albuquerque, this p. m., he says eighty-two 

Soon after leaving Albuquerque, we pass through 
another Pueblo village — Zandia — a collection of 
adobe houses, not greatly differing from those of a 
Mexican village. Some things are done differently. 
For instance, the bake-ovens are built on the tops 
of the houses. Built on the ground, the dogs rather 
affect, infest, and infect them as dormitories. Besides, 
there are sundry other reasons for elevating them on 
to the roof. 

Hereabout (Zandia) commences the Rio Abajo, 
or (the country) down the river. The fields now 
spread out, the ranches and haciendas are closer 
together, walls hem in the road until it narrows to a 
mere lane in places, corn grows higher, fruit-trees 
appear, and you begin to see the vine. If the walls 
by the roadside were of stone, and the houses 
whitened, you might imagine you had caught a 
glimpse of Italy. Houses, fields, and people begin to 
look more characteristically Mexican. The walls and 
adobe fences are now frequently topped or crowned 
with long branches of the cactus — more effectual 
against intruders than spike nails or broken glass. 

Here I saw a Mexican plow. It is a monumental 
affair, with wood-work enough in it to furnish the 
rafters of a small house, and worthily and ponderously 


matches the Mexican cart. Before they pass away 
— there is no great hurry though, you will have time 
enough, for your Mexican has not yet begun to move 
rapidly — a specimen of each should be preserved, 
and handed down to posterity, duly certified by 
credible witnesses. Their agricultural use and em- 
ployment might otherwise be disputed by coming 

Bernalillo, another village through which we pass, 
has a good-looking church and some neat and pretty 
residences. It is celebrated, in these parts, for its 
wines, some of which I have tasted. These wines 
are capable, with proper treatment, of being made 
excellent, but the grapes, though superior, are badly 
pressed, the juice inexpertly handled, and not kept 
sufficiently long. There are no cellars, and the wine 
is used almost as fast as made. Old wines are 
almost out of the question. 

Albuquerque lies near the river, on a low, sandy 
veg-a, and is little more than a collection of alternate 
brick and adobe houses. You take it to be all 
suburb until informed you are in the town. Travel- 
lers, as far back as Pike, in 1807, speak of the beauty 
of the women. I have found, in my travels, nothing 
so evanescent and capable of eclipse as this local 
reputation for beauty. You never happen to see it 
just at the period of your visit. 

Kendall, in his Santa Fe expedition (1841), speak- 
ing of the entry into Albuquerque of the procession 
formed by his fellow-prisoners and their guard, de- 
scribes the population of the place flocking out, and, 
among the rest, a beautiful girl of fifteen standing 
on an adobe wall to look at them pass by, the taper 
fingers of her right hand supporting a huge pumpkin 


upon her head, while her left was gracefully resting 
upon her hip. With a tear of pity in her eye, she 
gives the pumpkin to a passing prisoner, etc. The 
description of her peerless beauty, I recollect, occu- 
pies some three pages — one of those little im- 
promptus labored at leisure — and closes by saying 
that the prettiest girl he ever saw was selling woolen 
socks at twenty-five cents a pair at Holmes' Hole, 
and her twin sister in beauty was standing in her 
bare feet on a mud wall at Albuquerque. 

I have only to remark that I also, twenty-five years 
later, on the same spot, saw the population of Albu- 
querque swarm out on a more attractive occasion ; 
and if that young lady of the pumpkin, bare feet, 
taper fingers, hip, and all that sort of thing, left 
daughters resembling herself, I certainly did not see 


Albuquerque, July 29, 1866. 

This will never do ! Thermometer 70° at six a. 
m. ; 83° in the shade, and 125° in the sun at two p. m. 
"We have not come down 2000 feet for nothing, and 
I reiterate my opinion about the gentle zephyrs. Un- 
grateful wretch that I am, too. I never once gave 
thanks, nor even remarked that we had no flies at 
Santa Fe until they began to torment us here. The 
difference between an elevation of 6346 and 4800 
feet is, for us, too plainly perceptible. 

Albuquerque is an uninteresting village of some 
1000 inhabitants. A few nice adobe dwellings, and 
the old church in the Plaza with its modern facade, 
form the sum total of its architectural interest. This 
church — above other Mexican churches — is quite 
aristocratic in having a board floor. Some half- 
dozen long kneeling benches used for pews at the 
upper end, show the extent of American innovation. 
I entered in expectation of hearing a Spanish sermon. 
The Padre, however, after reading the gospel of the 
day in Spanish, and making a few remarks upon it, 
announced there would be no sermon, " En consid- 
eration del mucho calorT This Padre (Rev. Mr. 
Truchard) is spoken of by both Americans and 
Mexicans here, as deserving the greatest praise for 
his labors, his admirable example, and the useful 
reforms effected by him. 


Portions of the service were sung in the most 
remarkable music I ever listened to. The " Gloria," 
" Credo " and " Sanctus," chanted in a sort of droninsr 
recitative, decidedly nasal, by one voice, were accom- 
panied by a violin and two guitars — the same 
symphony or interlude being repeated at all the 
intervals. The violin might be characterized as 
scratchy, and the guitars, who were opposite each 
other, played as to tune and time as if each one 
wished it distinctly to be understood that he had 
" no connection with the establishment over the 

I saw the performers, afterward, as they came out, 
and felt ashamed of my levity, as they passed — 
three gray-haired old men, bending under the weight 
of years. It looked as though the Padre, who is said 
to be progressive, had allowed them, out of kind 
pity, to remain with the chanting and strumming 
they had been accustomed to for forty years, and 
which they had inherited from the seventeenth cent- 
ury. Their guitars, by the way, might have had 
something to do with their bending, for they were 
monumental in size, and contained wood enough to 
make a table. The band of the 5th United States 
Infantry (brass instruments) was present, and per- 
formed some solemn airs — its full, rich tones in 
remarkable contrast with the Mexican chant — so 
that I may say I thus heard the music of 1666 and 
that of 1866 together. As usual in Mexican churches, 
the sexes were separated, the women to the right, 
men to the left, and the demeanor of all was serious 
and edifying. 

We heard the band again that evening in the 
Plaza. Among other pieces, they gave " Ah ! tu 


die a Dio spiegasti Pali" — from Donizetti's "Lu- 
cia," with its andante introduction. Something about 
their manner of rendering it induced me to inquire 
into the persona], or, rather, national organization 
of the band, and I was informed that five of them 
were Frenchmen — deserters from the French army 
in Mexico. They had made their way from Chi- 
huahua to El Paso, a distance of one hundred and 
fifty miles, doubtless aided by the native population, 
who are strongly on the Juarez side. A large part 
of the garrison of Fort Bliss is, I am reliably in- 
formed, composed of the same class of deserters. 

I met here, yesterday afternoon, my Indian friends 
the Zunis, whom I had frequently seen while at 
Santa Fe, and as I had happened to be present with 
General Carleton and Colonel Kit Carson at a coun- 
cil held with them, they naturally took me for a Big 
Indian among the whites. Imagine my dismay 
and discomfiture — knowing me as you do for a 
modest young man — when I found them drawn up 
in front of a house I was just entering, and heard 
them greet me with three stunning yells of recogni- 
tion and welcome. 

Later in the day, I saw a band of thirty-seven 
Navajoes — their enemies — who were not so cheer- 
ful. They had just come in and surrendered, being 
forced to it by sheer starvation. Their gaunt, fam- 
ished looks told their story plain enough. Their 
wants were speedily administered to, and they will 
be sent to the Bosque Bedondo, a reservation spe- 
cially set apart for them. All who come in and 
surrender are kindly treated and put there. On con- 
dition of their remaining, lands, implements, seed, 
provisions, and houses are furnished them, and those 


who are on the reservation — some 7000 — are suc- 
cessfully cultivating the arts of peace, and can soon 
support themselves solely by agriculture and indus- 
try. With those who refuse to come in, and who 
continue their depredations on the Mexicans and 
Pueblos, it is war to the knife. And this alternative 
of surrender and migration, or relentless and cease- 
less war, will be found the only solution of our In- 
dian difficulties. 

Albuquerque, July 30, 1806. 

Thermometer at 6 a. m., 68° ; at 2 p. m., 82°. 
Nothing but the obligation of having accepted an 
invitation to a grand baile, given by the citizens in 
honor of the arrival of Major-General Pope, com- 
manding the department, who was most enthusias- 
tically received here, could have induced me to re- 
main another day. That festivity terminated, I shall 
vamose at once. 

Camp in Valley of the Tuebto Mountains,) 

(Fort}' miles southeast of Santa 1-V.) July 31, 1866. ) 

At twelve last night I tore myself away from the 
gayety of the baile given at the handsome residence 
of Senor Salvador Armijo, and soon after, traversing 
four miles of sandy vega, we were galloping across 
the mesa which stretches its smooth, hard floor to 
the foot of the Zandia Mountains, rolling its even 
surface for miles to the south. Entering the mount- 
ains we soon strike the Canon Carnuel, or El Infi- 
erno, which, I believe, is the route selected as one 
of the most favorable passes for the Pacific Railroad. 

A brilliant moonlight favored us, and the stars 
shone brightly, enabling me to see objects with per- 
fect distinctness. The scenery is bold and pictur- 


esque. At a turn of the road we pass the base of 
a precipitous cliff several hundred feet high. It was 
well the moon shone, for our road, which mainly laid 
in the bed of the mountain torrent, had been severely- 
washed by late rains. Rising rapidly, and by an 
easy grade, we pass some hamlets and fields of 
wheat and corn that look well, although without the 
advantage of irrigation. 

Approaching a group of houses about three o'clock 
in the morning, we met men and women returning, 
evidently, by their festive attire, from a baile. Two 
miles further on we passed the scene of gayety — 
the pursuit of pleasure under difficulties. 

The summit of the divide is well covered with 
grass, and interspersed with cultivated fields. As we 
approach San Antonita, a beautiful view, stretching 
off to the east and south, rewards us for our night 
ride. From this point the road rolls down, by an 
easy grade, through the Valley of San Pedro, until 
we reach the village of Tuerto, or the New Placer. 
It is a collection of some ten or a dozen adobes, in 
the centre of which is an extensive shed, surmounted 
by a large pipe, plainly indicating a furnace below. 
In 1845-6 this place had in it more than a hundred 
houses, and twenty-two stores transacting more 
business than was done in Santa Fe. The secret 
of this activity was the gold washings, or placer, 
near it, about a mile southwest from the town, at 
the foot of a naked granitic mountain — the Bonanza. 

The old placer, ten miles northeast toward Santa 
Fe, was discovered in 1828, and worked until 1839, 
when it was mainly deserted by the thousands who 
toiled there, for the new one. Large quantities of 
gold were taken out by the imperfect hand-washing. 



Many large lumps, or nuggets, were obtained, some 
worth $500, $700, $1500, and one, in particular, of 
$3400, which its finder sold for $1400. 

From the village we went back the road we came 
a short distance, and struck off into the valley to the 
east four miles, where we camped amidst a grand 
forest of fragrant pine-trees, growing out of a soft 
carpet of rich grama, and other grasses. 

Thermometer at 8 p. m., 68°. 

Camp in the Valley, August 1, 1866. 

Thermometer at 5 a. m., 58°. Compare that with 
your degree of heat on the same day, and tell me if 
you were not to be pitied. It is scarcely possible to 
exaggerate the beauty and delightful temperature of 
this climate. Of course, there is a difference in this 
respect between the mountains and the lower part 
of the Rio Grande Valley. Nevertheless it is every- 
where temperate and even healthy. At Albuquerque 
the other day we saw the thermometer 83° in the 
shade, and lower down the valley it sometimes 
reaches 100°. Nevertheless, even there the nights 
are always cool and pleasant. For an invalid, or a 
person in delicate health, I should think Santa Fe in 
summer, and some point lower down in the valley 
in winter, unsurpassed in advantages. The atmos- 
phere of summer at Santa F6 is always dry, and 
except for an occasional shower, the sky clear. 

After breakfast we started to see the old Mexican 
mine (gold), and get the view from the summit of 
the Tuerto. A broad wagon-road leads to the mine, 
which, half-way up the mountain, opens wide its 
mouth to receive you. A sort of out-door chamber, of 
some ten feet deep by fifteen feet square, appears to 


have been excavated in the rock before commencing 
the mine in the side of the mountain. From this 
open space the mine is entered by four arches in the 
rock, in which a wide and high chamber is exca- 
vated, supported by pillars of the ore. The gang is 
iron ochre and crystallized quartz, of which I brought 
away some fine specimens. The ore is certainly 
rich in gold. From this point we ascended by a 
well-worn track (the route of the burros who packed 
the ore across the mountains to the rough mill for- 
merly used), to the summit of the Tuerto. Here is 
one of the most magnificent views I ever beheld. 
We are elevated some five thousand feet above the 
valley. As I stand facing the south, to my right, in 
the distance, looms up the Sierra del Pecho, with 
the singularly-shaped elevation answering to its 
name, the valley of the Rio Grande and the mesas 
on either side stretching between us as one appar- 
ently smooth plain. 

Carrying the eye further south, the Zandia Mount- 
ains cut off a section of the valley. At their lower 
end we see, over the gorge made by the Carnuel 
Gallon, the highest of the Ladrones range beyond 
Socorro, and overlooking Fort Craig. The San 
Ysedro, just in front of us, cuts off our lookout 
due south. But southeast, east, and northeast, 
stretches off a magnificent plain, whose horizon is 
indented, at intervals of many miles, with the Mai 
Pais, Caiion Blanco Mountains, and the Salada. 
Six large lakes, salt and fresh, shine like mirrors in 
the sun to the southeast. We see seven towns and 
villages, Tejon, Tuerto, Santa F6, San Pedro, San 
Antonita, Madera, and Chimal, and the rivers Rio 
Grande and Galasteo. 


The immense pine forests clustering around the 
base of the mountains and stretching far into the 
plains, look, from this height, like patches of box- 
plant in a garden. Turning to the north, on the 
left beyond the river, we have the Hemos Mount- 
ains, west of the Gold or Placer River, separated 
from us by an apparent strip of green, which, how- 
ever, is four miles wide. Just over the eastern slope, 
we have the range of the Santa Fe" Mountains, and 
that of the Mora, extending to Las Vegas, and be- 
yond ; to the north, a section of the Taos Mount- 
ains — making, in all, a grand visual circular sweep 
of from sixty to one hundred miles in every direc- 
tion. A brilliant sun and clear atmosphere light up 
the entire picture, shaded only by grand masses of 
white, billowy clouds, and five narrow strips of 
black, miles apart, athwart the horizon to the north 
and northeast, denoting as many distinct and heavy 

Santa Fe, August 2, 1866. 
We found the summit of the Tuerto thoroughly 
prospected, and holes, piles of stones, and initialed 
boards, show that its entire surface is claimed for 
mineral wealth. Returning to camp for dinner, 
which we ate reclining on the grass, we saddled up 
in the afternoon and reached Real de Dolores, or the 
Old Placer, at seven p. m. There we found a mill in 
which a battery of five stamps was pounding indus- 
triously on the gold ore. The mill and mine are 
the property of the New Mexico Mining Company, 
which has lately resumed operations with some ac- 
tivity. The old placer of which I speak above, is 
but a few rods off. The road passes through it; and 
although there has been no digging and washing 


there for twenty years, the ground, up and down for 
miles, looks as though it had been torn up yesterday 
by an earthquake. 

Here I fell in with Candelaria, an aged shepherd, 
who in the palmy days of mining stumbled upon a 
lump of gold worth $750. " Straightway," he told 
me, recounting his luck, " straightway all the men 
bowed to me, the women courtesied, the comerciantes 
took off their hats when they met me. My name 
grew like a gourd. From Candelaria it became Don 
Juan, Don Juan Candelaria, Sefior Don Juan Cande- 
laria, Senor Don Juan Candelaria, Caballero! This 
lasted three weeks. My gold lasted twenty days. 
On the twenty-second day my name was flattened 
out to Old Candelaria, and now I herd sheep. Adios, 
com padre." 

We were hospitably entertained at the house of 
Dr. Steck, the superintendent, and although the five 
stamps marked time vigorously all night, we slept 

From this point, twenty-seven miles to Santa Fe 
we descend the plain for some miles, going due 
north. The road lies over a red and brown sand- 
stone, and where we strike the creek, large masses 
of petrified wood, branches, and large trunks of 
trees, lie scattered about. 

Soon after crossing the Galisteo we come to two 
springs, in one of which is sienite, and in the other 
fresh-water limestone. To the left, on an elevation, 
are the ruins of an ancient Pueblo — or rather the 
vestige of the ruins, for you can only trace the large 
inclosure, two hundred feet square, by its stone 
foundation, and perceive portions of the walls of the 
buildings. This ruin is so ancient that it was old 


when the Spaniards first came to the country. By 
dint of search I found some fragments of Pueblo 
pottery which I brought away. They were doubt- 
less fashioned by Indian hands, before Montezuma 
was born. 

To the stranger coming to Santa F£, I would 
earnestly recommend the trip by the Old and New 
Placers to the summit of the Tuerto, as the most 
interesting he can make from that point. It requires 
only two days, presents more variety, and gives a 
better idea of the country, both mountain and plain, 
than any excursion he can make. 

On our return here, we find the Navajoes (pro- 
nounced Navahoes) we saw at Albuquerque. They 
are making their way, under escort, to the Bosque 

The thermometer yesterday evening at 8 o'clock, 
at the Old Placer, stood at 68° ; this morning at 
5.30, at 58° ; at 2 p. m. (Santa F£), 72°. 

I cannot but again speak of this climate. 

Mere existence — breathing — is a pleasure in it. 

At this season neither warm nor cool, and yet 
fresh and elastic ; it must be the spot Sam Slick 
described, initially, as an A. P. (Airthly Paradise) 
compared with Cincinnati or New York. 


Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 3, 1866.' 

Santa Fe was first settled by the Spaniards (I 
like to be precise), no one knows when. Rather an 
unsatisfactory date, you think ? The period can 
only be approximated. Thus : The Spaniards first 
came to New Mexico in 1595, and this city was 
doubtless settled within one or two years after that 
event, thus making it two hundred and sixty-eight 
years old. It is, doubtless, the oldest town in the 
United States, except St. Augustine, Florida, and 
was in existence before the Pilgrims landed in New 

According to accepted tradition, it was an Indian 
pueblo when the Spaniards reached this part of the 
valley. In connection with this first question of 
date, a few remarks may properly be made here, 
applicable to, and, in some measure, explanatory of, 
every historical question arising concerning New 
Mexico that, in subsequent letters, I may touch 
upon or refer to. Instead of the history of New 
Mexico, readers must fain accept the following 
apologetic explanation of its non-existence : — 


In 1581, Captain Francisco de Leyva Bonillo, at 
the head of a band of adventurers, returned to Mex- 
ico from a reconnoissance of this country. The 


accounts given to the Spaniards of its appearance, 
mountains, Indians, and mineral wealth, warranted 
them in calling it New Mexico, from its resemblance 
to the portion already conquered by them. 

Juan de (Dilate of Zacatecas, famed for his deeds 
of arms, was sent in 1595 by the Viceroy, Count 
de Monterey, to take formal possession of the coun- 
try, and attach it to the Spanish crown, with au- 
thority to establish presidios (forts) and colonies. It 
was not difficult for the warlike Spaniard to reduce 
the people. During the following three quarters of 
a century, towns were founded, military posts estab- 
lished, great numbers of mines opened and worked, 
and the country was tranquil, apparently, under the 
Spanish rule. 


Suddenly, without premonition or warning, there 
broke out a violent and bloody insurrection. The 
Spaniards, young and old, were massacred wherever 
found, and their commander, Don Antonio Otermin, 
retreating from Santa Fe with his command — a 
mere remnant of the Spanish forces — fought his 
way down the valley of the Rio Grande as far 
south as the present Texan frontier, near which, on 
the west bank of the river, with the aid of some 
friendly Indians, he laid the foundation of the town 
of El Paso del Norte. During this revolt all the 
Spanish archives and documents perished. The 
vengeance and destructive power of the natives 
were particularly directed against these special signs 
and attributes of the superiority of their conquerors. 
Tin' few scattered fragments taken with them by 
the flying survivors of the massacre, to El Paso, 
never returned here. 



It was not until 1693 that the Spaniards, under 
Don Diego de Bargas, reconquered the country. 
Previous to 1693 (the date of the oldest document 
in the archives of Santa Fe), the history of the 
country — so far as there found — is a total blank. 
I have seen several documents in the writing of 
Diego de Bargas. His manuscript, unlike the old 
Spanish documents, which are generally beautifully 
engrossed, forces on you the reflection that as he 
carved his way through the country with the blade 
of his sword, he did his writing with the hilt. 

Under these circumstances, the history of the 
country has never been written ; and to obtain in- 
formation concerning even its most salient points, 
I find myself compelled to consult tradition and a 
few scattered books, that, after all, only treat the 
subject incidentally and superficially. Indeed, the 
w T riters could not well do otherwise. The future 
historian of New Mexico cannot therefore satisfac- 
torily labor without access to scattered documents 
at El Paso, Chihuahua, Mexico, Madrid, Seville, 
and, perhaps, Rome. 


Nevertheless, there is a mass of rich material even 
here. I have examined piles of documents belong- 
ing to the archives, and cannot but regret, for the 
sake of history, that some use is not made of them. 
There are papers and correspondence relating to the 
missions, pueblos, mines, Indians, etc., in large quan- 
tities ; correspondence with the governors, general 
instructions to military commanders, reports of expe- 
ditions of exploration, warfare, etc. Among the re- 


markable papers I saw, is one giving a description 
of all the routes, trails, rivers, fords, and mountain 
passes from Sandia to Long's Peak. The startling 
discoveries we have from time to time, of late years, 
heard of passes and canons hitherto unknown, would 
have been no news to the sons of Cortes. 

Before Plymouth Rock had a name, the Spaniards 
had reached the Rocky Mountains, penetrated its 
passes, and become familiar with the sources, fords, 
and canons of the Gila and Colorado — rivers that 
within a few years only have attracted so much in- 
terest as geographical novelties. And I am inclined 
to believe that if the historic material, printed and 
manuscript, from Coronado down to Escalante, were 
collected and put in proper form, the Spanish, mili- 
tary, Franciscan, and Jesuit explorers of the deserts 
now called New Mexico, Arizona, California, and 
Utah, would far outshine the English of Virginia 
and the Pilgrims of Plymouth in bravery, enter- 
prise, daring, and fortitude. 

To cite but a single instance, take the expedition 
of Fernando Alarchon, who in 1542 discovered and 
entered the Rio Colorado of the West from the Gulf 
of California. He ascended the river eighty-five (85) 
leagues, when his progress was stopped by a dan- 
gerous and lofty canon, through which it was impos- 
sible to draw the boats. 

The river has only been ascended in our day by 
an expedition provided with a small iron steamer 
built for the express purpose, and with all the aid in 
men and money that a liberal and wealthy govern- 
ment alone could furnish. (See the interesting Re- 
port of Lieutenant Ives, published by Congress.) 



are abundant. The earliest narrative, except that 
of Baca, and the one most frequently referred to, is 
that of Pedro Castaneda de Nagera, a soldier in the 
expedition to Cibola, commanded by Francisco Vas- 
quez de Coronado, undertaken in 1540, under the 
direction of Don Antonio de Mendoza, then Viceroy 
of New Spain. Translated from the original Span- 
ish manuscript found in the collection of Uguina, it 
was first published in French in 1838 by Ternaux 
Compans. 1 

Among the numerous Memoirs, Letters, and Re- 
ports, are prominent : — 

I. Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Baca or 
Vaca (1528-1536), who travelled from Florida to 

II. Narrative of Father Marcos de Niza, who 
started from San Miguel, Province of Culiacan, 
March 7, 1539. His companion was Friar Honora- 
tus, and he travelled, in the words of his journal, 
" as the Holy Ghost did lead." He penetrated 
through New Mexico far into Arizona. 

III. Letters of Antonio de Mendoza to the Em- 
peror Charles V. 

IV. Narrative of Captain Juan Jaramillo. 

V. Friar Juan de la Ascuncion (1538). 

VI. Father Jacob Siedelmeyer (Oct. 1744). 
Went to the Gila. 

VII. Friar Augustin Ruys, a Franciscan (1581). 

VIII. Antonio de Espejo (1583). 

IX. Friar Francisco Garces. 

X. Don Juan de Oriate (1604). 

XI. Michael Venegas. " Notizia de la California, 

1 Voyages, Relations, et Me'moires, etc., par H. Ternaux Compans. Paris, 


escrita por el R. P. Andres Buriel." Madrid, 1754. 
Gives an account of expedition of 1683, when two 
Jesuit fathers, Salvatierra and Kuhn, — the latter a 
learned astronomer from Ingolstadt, — went to Cal- 
ifornia. In 1701-1703, Kuhn made his celebrated 
exploration to Northern California and the Rio Col- 
orado. At this time Philip V. of Spain gave $13,000 
annually to the Jesuit missions for these wilds. 

XII. Interior exploration made by Father Guilen 

XIII. Interior exploration made by Father Ugarte 

XIV. Journey from Sonora to California and 
exploration of the Rio Colorado (of the West), by 
Father Consag (1746). 

XV. " Relation Historica de la Vida del R. P. 
Junipero y de las Misiones que fundo en la Cali- 
fornia Septentrional," vol. Mexico, 1787. Gives 
an account of the progress to California of the Vis- 
itor General Galvez, with thirty (30) Franciscans. 

XVI. " Cronica Apostolica del Colegio de la 
Santa Cruz de Queretaro," Mexico, 1799. Ex- 
ploration of the country west of the Sierra Madre, 
the sources of the Colorado, country of the Nava- 
joes, and the Gila ; by the Franciscans Dominguez 
and Escalante (1777). Escalante has left a manu- 
script journal of a journey from New Mexico to 
Utah (1776). 

XVII. 1 Journal of Father Pedro Font (1775), 
containing notice of the Great House called Monte- 
zuma's, on the Gila. 

XVIII. " Historia de la Com p. de Jesus en Nueva 
Espafia ; " by Alegro. 

1 Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 17, are published in the collection of Ternaux Corn- 


XIX. Memoir of Fernando Alarchon. 1 

Two valuable papers lately brought to light here, 
contain accounts of the insurrection of 1680, and 
the reconquest of New Mexico by Bargas, in 1691. 
The latter document is entirely in his own hand- 
writing, of which I have just spoken. At the open- 
ing of his narrative, he announces himself as " Gen- 
eral Don Diego de Bargas, Zapata y Lujan Ponze 
de Leon, Gobernador y Capitan General de esta 
Reyno y Provincia de la Nueva Mexico, Conquista- 
dor y Reconquistador y Castellon de sus Fuerzas y 
Presidios, para su Majestad." 

Two peculiarities will be remarked here : Ponce 
— - as usually written — is here spelled with a z, and 
New Mexico — from feminine — is now made mas- 
culine. In these respects, this paper does not differ 
from other manuscripts of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. 

I am satisfied, too, from my own observation, that 
many valuable sources of historical information are 
scattered throughout the territory in churches, pue- 
blos, and the hands of private individuals and 
retired officials. Padre Truchard at Albuquerque, 
permitted me to examine the records of the parish 
church there, going back nearly a century. They 
are in excellent condition, and contain much that 
would be valuable to the local historian. The rec- 
ords at Taos and Santa F6*, I doubt not, are equally 
valuable. The baptismal register (de la Villa de 
Alburquerque 2 ) goes back to 1743, and although in 

1 Several other memoirs on the early exploration of New Mexico may 
be found in Schoolcraft's History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian 

2 In the New Mexican documents of the last century, it is always spelt 
Alburquerque, not Albuquerque. 


the different handwritings of some twenty successive 
parish priests, the manuscript is uniformly clear and 
beautiful. Its handsomely engrossed title page reads : 





The earliest entries are baptisms of 1. Apache. 
2. Cayote. 3. Espanola. 4. Mulata. 5. Mestiza. 
6. Mulata. 7. Apache. 8. Espanola. The entry 
" Padres no conocidos " occurs occasionally. 

The names Mestiso, Cayote, and Mulato, suffi- 
ciently indicate the different varieties of mixed par- 
entage. The last, however, must be a combination 
of two of the preceding varieties, as there were no 
blacks or Negroes in the country at that early day. 


Santa Fe, August 3, 1866. 

In speaking of the archives, I refer particularly to 
the collection of books and documents in the office 
of the Secretary of State at Santa Fe. 

Besides these there are many valuable papers in the 
office of the Surveyor General, the oldest of which 
bears the date of 1682. By industrious and careful 
research among these writings, which are for the 
most part grants and title deeds, a complete chron- 
ological list of all the governors and captains general 
commanding in New Mexico, has been made. It is 
the work of Surveyor General John A. Clark and his 
assistants, and a valuable contribution to the history 
of the country. I give the substance of it, adding 
my own remarks. 

1. A document dated 1683 refers to " Enrique de 
Abilu y Pacheco" as having " governed " New Mexico 
in 1656. 

From 1595 when Onate conquered the country, 
down to 1656, a period of sixty-one years, the reports 
of the governors of New Mexico must present pecul- 
iar interest, as showing the precise condition of the 
country and its inhabitants. It is highly probable 
that many of these reports might yet be found in 
the archives at Madrid or Seville. 

How long Pacheco governed, is not known ; nor 
is it known who succeeded him, for it is more than 


probable he had successors during the twenty-four 
years following 1656. 

2. The revolt of 1680 found Antonio de Otermin 
Governor and Captain General. Forced to retreat 
to El Paso, he probably took with him the then 
existing archives, which never returned. 

3. Bartolomeo de Estrada Ramirez. Governor and 
Captain General, 1683. 

" B'me de Estrada Ramirez, caballero de la orden de 
Santiago, gobernador y capitan general de la Nueva 
Mexico," &c. 

4. 1684 to 1689, and, most probably, to 1692. 

" El senor gobernador y capitan general, Don Domingo 
Jironza Petroz de Cruzate." 

5. 1692 to 1698, and again found in documents 
of 1703 and 1704. 

'• ' El General Don Diego de Vargas * Zapata Lujan 
Ponce de Leon, marquez de la naba de Brazinas, gober- 
nador y capitan general de este reyno y provincias de la 
Nueba Mexico, su Nuevo Restaurador, conquistador a su 
Costa, reconquistador y Poblador en el, y castellano de sus 
fuerzas y presidios, por su Majestad,' &c. This title em- 
braces probably in the word ' reconquistador ' a reference 
to the formidable Indian insurrection of 1689 in New 
Mexico, an attempted repetition of the revolt of 1080." 

6. 1694 and 1695. Again in 1722, but whether 
a new term of office or continuation from 1695, does 
not appear. 

" Don Gaspar de Sandoval Zerda Silva y Mendoza, 
conde de galve, gentilhombre de la camara de su Majestad, 
comendador de Salamea y Zedavin en la orden y Caballe- 
ria de Alcantara, virey, y gobernador y capitan general de 

1 Usually Bargas in Mexico, where they commonly substitute R for V. 
Thus Baca for Vaca, Bisente for Vicente, Las Begas for Las Vegas. 


esta Nueva Espana, y presidente de la real audiencia de 
ella," &c. 

7. 1697 to 1703. 

" El seiior gobernador y capitan general, Don Pedro 
Rodriguez Cubero." 

8. 1703 to 1710. 

" El Duque de Alburquerque, virey, y gobernador y 
capitan general de esta Nueva Espana," &c. 

9. Juan Paez Hurtado. His name appears in 
1704, 1712, 1716, 1717, and 1735. 

" Lieutenant-governor in 1704. Commissioned by the 
Marquis de la Penuela as governor and captain general in 
1712, and as inspector general in 1716." 

10. 1705-1707. 

" ' El General Francisco Cuerbo y Valdez, caballero de 
la orden de Santiago, juez oficial, real tesorero, factor de 
la real hacienda y caja de la ciudad de Guadalajara, Nuebo 
Reyno de la Galicia, gobernador y capitan general de este 
reyno de la Nueva Mexico y sus provincias, castellano de 
sus fuerzas y presidios, por su Majestad,' &c. Appears 
as governor and captain general ad interim in 1705 and 

11. 1708-1712. 

" ' El Almirante Don Joseph Chacon Medina Salazar y 
Villasenor, caballero de la orden de Santiago, Marquez de 
la Penuela, gobernador y capitan general de este dicho 
regno [del Nuevo 1 Mexico] y sus provincias, y castellano 
de sus fuerzas y presidios, por su Majestad,' &c. Signed 
sometimes as ' El Marquez de la Penuela ' and sometimes 
as ' Penuela.' " 

12. 1712. 

" ' Don Fernando de Alencaster Norena y Silva, Duque 

1 Here we first remark the change in the gender from feminine to mas- 
culine. In all previous records it is La Nueva Mexico. 


de Linares, Marquez de Valdefuentes y de Govea, conde de 
Portoalegre, comendador mayor de la orden de Santiago 
en el Reyno de Portugal, gentilhombre de la camara de su 
Majestad, y de su consejo, su virey, lugar teniente gober- 
nador y capitan general de esta Nueva Espana, y presidente 
de la real audiencia de ella,' &c. Was viceroy of New 
Spain in 1714 and 1715." 

13. 1712 to 1715. 

" Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon commissioned civil and 
military governor of New Mexico by the King, Felipe V., 
at Madrid, September 27, 1707, for five years ; salary, 
$2000 ; qualified at Madrid, October 9, 1707, and went 
into office at Santa Fe, capital of New Mexico, October 5, 
1712 ; commissioned by the viceroy, at the city of Mexico, 
captain general for the balance of the term, February 9, 
1712, and went into office October 5, 1712. Tried at Santa 
Fe in 1721 for malfeasance in office ; sentence sent to the 
viceroy at the city of Mexico for revision, Governor Mogol- 
lon in the mean time to pay one hundred dollars costs of 
trial ; but the officer reported no effects found wherewith to 
satisfy the bill of costs, and the ex-governor himself non 
est inventus, supposed to be absent at the city of Mexico." 

14. 1714. 

" General Don Antonio Balberde Cassio. capitan vitalicio 
del real presidio del Paso del Rio del Norte, gobernador y 
capitan general interino, de este reyno y provincias de la 
Nueba Mexico." 

15. 1715-1716. 

" Commissioned at the city of Mexico by the viceroy for 
and during the pleasure of the King, Felipe V., as governor 
and captain general of New Mexico, vice Mogollon, who 
was relieved from office by command of his Majesty, Oc- 
tober 5, 1715. Governor Martinez qualified at Santa Fe 
December 1, 1715." 


16. Juan de Estrada y Austria, 1721. 

" His Majesty's residentiary judge, acting governor and 
captain general during the trial of ex-Governor Mogollon 
for malfeasance in office." 

17. 1721 to 1724, 1727, 1728, 1730, 1731, and 
1738. Juan Domingo de Bustamente. 

" Gobernador y capitan general de este reyno de la 
Nueba Mexico y castellano de sus fuerzas y presidios, por 
su Majestad," &c. 

18. Gervacio Cruzat y Gongora, Governor and 
Captain General, 1730 to 1736. 

19. Henrique de Olavide y Michelena, Governor 
and Captain General, 1738. 

20. 1739 to 1743. Don Gaspar Domingo y Men- 
doza, Governor and Captain General. (This and 
the following documents say " La Nueva Mexico.") 

21. Don Joachin Codallos y Rabal, Governor and 
Captain General, 1744 to 1749. 

22. Francisco Huemes y Horcasitas, Governor and 
Captain General ad interim, 1747. 

23. 1749 to 1754, 1762 to 1766, 1773. Don 
Thomas Velez Cachupin. 

24. Francisco Antonio Maria del Valle, acting 
Governor and Captain General, 1761, 1762. 

25. Don Pedro Fermin de Mendinneta, de la orden 
de Santiago, coronel de los reales ejercitos, gober- 
nador y capitan general de este reyno del Nnevo 
Mexico, &c, &c. 1762, 1767 to 1772, 1775, 1778. 

26. Juan Bautista de Anza, Civil and Military 
Governor, 1780-1787. 

27. Fernando de la Concha, Civil and Military 
Governor, 1788-1800 (except 1794, 1798 and 1799). 

28. Lieutenant-colonel Fernando Chacon. Civil 


and Military Governor, de la provincia del Nueva 
Mexico, &c., 1794, 1798, 1799, 1800 to 1805. 

29. Joaquin del real Alencaster, Governor 1805 to 
1808. The Duke of Alencaster sent out the expedi- 
tion that brought Lieutenant Z. M. Pike, U. S. A., 
a prisoner into Santa Fe, March 3d, 1807. He ap- 
pears to have been a man of ability. See page 234 
for an account of Pike's Expedition. 

30. Lieutenant-colonel Don Jose* Manrique, Gov- 
ernor or Governor ad interim, 1808 to 1814, 1819. 

31. Nemecio Salcedo, Commanding General of 
Department with civil jurisdiction, 1811. Head- 
quarters at Chihuahua. 

32. Alberto Maynez, Civil and Military Governor, 
1815, 1817. 

33. Pedro Maria de Allande, Civil and Military 
Governor, 1816, 1818. 

34. Facundo Melgares, Civil and Military Governor. 
The last one under the crown of Spain, 1818 to 1822. 
This appears to be the same Facundo Melgares who, 
as Lieutenant, commanded the escort in charge of 
Lieutenant Z. M. Pike, U. S. A., taken as a prisoner 
to Chihuahua. He is described by Pike and his 
friend Dr. Robinson, as a gentleman and gallant 

35. Inspector General Don Alejo Garcia Conde, 
General commanding and Political Chief (gefe supe- 
rior politico), 1821. 

36. Antonio Viscarra, Gefe Politico, 1822, 1823. 

37. Bartolome Baca, 1824, and to September 13, 

38. Antonio Narbona (a native of British Province 
of Canada). 

39. Manuel Armijo, Gefe Politico, 1827. 


40. Jose* Antonio Chavez, Gefe Politico, 1828- 

41. Santiago Abreu, Gefe Politico, 1831-1832. 

42. Francesco Sarracino, Gefe Politico, 1833 to 
May 14, 1835. 

43. Mariano Chavez, acting Gefe Politico for three 
months, 1835. 

44. Albino Perez, Gefe Politico. From a territory, 
New Mexico was erected into a department of the 
republic in January, 1837. As department, went 
into operation in May, 1837. 

45. Albino Perez, Governor, 1837, assassinated by 
the Pueblo Indians at Santa Fe, August 9th, during 
an insurrection. August 10th, Jose Gonzalez pro- 
claimed Governor of New Mexico by the insurgents, 
and as such placed in possession of " the palace " at 
the capital. Gonzalez deposed by the military under 
Manuel Armijo, and executed with several of his 
followers, January 27, 1838. Armijo having estab- 
lished himself Governor, was soon recognized as 
such by the national government in the city of 

46. Manuel Armijo, Governor, 1838 to 1845. Sus- 
pended from office in January 1845, by the Inspector 

47. Mariano Martinez, acting Governor from Jan- 
uary to September 18, 1845. 

48. Jose Chavez, acting Governor from Septem- 
ber 18, to December, when Armijo was elected Gov- 
ernor, 1845. 

49. Manuel Armijo. The last Governor under 
Mexican rule. In office until August 18, 1846, when 
the United States troops took formal possession of 
New Mexico, when, by proclamation of the com- 



manding officer of the United States forces, the fol- 
lowing provisional government was proclaimed : — 

Being duly authorized by 
the President of the United 
States of America, I hereby 
make the following appoint- 
ments for the Government of 
New Mexico, a Territory of 
the United States. 

The officers thus appoint- 
ed will be obeyed and re- 
spected accordingly. 

Hallandome debidamente 
autorizado por el Presidente 
de los Estados Unidos de 
America, por la presente ha- 
go los Siguientes nombra- 
mientos para la gobernacion 
de Nuevo Mejico, Territorio 
de los Estados Unidos. 

Los Empleados asi nom- 
brados seran obedecidos y 
respetados segun corre- 

Carlos Bent sera Gober- 

Donaciano Vigil sera Secre- 

tario del Territorio. 
Eicardo Dallam sera Esherif 

mayor (alguacil). 
Francisco P. Blair sera Pro- 
motor fiscal (mayor). 
Carlos Blummer seni Teso- 

Eugenio Leitensdorfer sera 
Yntendente de cuentas 
Joab Houghton, Antonio 
Jose Otero, y Carlos Bau- 
bien seran Jues de la Su- 
prema Cortede Justicia y 
cada uno ensu Districto 
sera jues de circuito. 
Dado en Santa Fe, capital 
del Tterritorio de Nuevo 
Mejico este dia a* 22 de 
Setiembrie 1846 y el 71° 
de la Independencia de 
los Estados Unidos. 


General de Brigada 

del Kjercito de los E. Unidos. 

Charles Bent to be Gov- 

Donaciano Vigil to be Sec. 
of Territory. 

Richard Dallam to be Mar- 

Francis P. Blair to be U. S. 
Dist. Att'y. 

Charles Blummer to be 

Eugene Leitensdorfer to be 
Auditor of Public Ac- 

Joab Houghton, Antonio Jose 
Otero, Charles Baubien, to 
be Judges of the " Supe- 
rior Court." 

Given at Santa Fe, the 
Capital of the Territory 
of New Mexico, this 22d 
day of September, 18-46, 
and in the 71st year of 
the Independence of the 
United States. 

Brig. Gen. U. S. A. 


Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 4, 1866. 

Santa Fe is in latitude north 35° 44' 6". From 
observations made in 1846, by Lieutenant-colonel 
Emory, U. S. A., the mean of all the barometric 
readings at Santa Fe indicates its height above the 
sea to be 6846 feet. The neighboring peaks to the 
north are many thousand feet higher. In looking at 
its position on most maps, it appears to be on the 
Rio del Norte, whereas the river is twenty-two miles 
to the west. A creek or arroyo runs through the 
town, with a wide pebbly bed, showing capacity for 
frequent mountain torrents. In ordinary seasons its 
waters are lost in the granite sands, some five miles 
below town. 

A low range of sand-hills to the west, with the 
high mountains on the east, form the valley of Santa 
F6 proper. It is narrow, varying from 1000 feet to 
a mile or two in width. The entire valley of the 
Rio Grande, of which this smaller valley forms a 
part, is about thirty-five miles in width. 

The population of Santa Fe is about 5000. I 
should say that was the maximum. With the excep- 
tion of about twenty-five American families, a few 
Germans, and the men of the garrison and the quar- 
termaster's department, the inhabitants are pure 
Mexican. The houses are of adobes, 1 or mud-brick, 

1 The material and mode of building are precisely the same as adopted 
by the ancient Assyrians. You may find the perfect counterparts of the 


one-story high, with but two or three exceptions. 
Nothing can be more sordid, monotonous, and un- 
architectural than the exterior of these buildings. 
They are built flush, as the carpenters say, with the 
street, presenting a naked wall with but one or two 
openings, surmounted with spouts which, in a rain, 
pour the contents of the roof some three feet into 
the street. Not a tree, shrub, paling, or any thing for 
the eye's relief. The portal, or main entrance, opens 
upon an interior square {patio or placita), around 
which is a gallery, upon which the rooms of the 
house open. In this square is frequently a well, and 
sometimes a few plants. Nevertheless, these houses 
are convenient, being all on one floor, and from the 
thickness of the walls (three feet) warm in winter 
and cool in summer. Seen at a distance, they pre- 
sent the general appearance of sliced brick-kilns. 
Pike's simile is also very good. He says when he 
first entered Santa Fe, it presented the appearance 
of a fleet of flat-boats, moored at the foot of a 
mountain. Cellars are unknown here in domestic 

The Plaza, some three hundred and fifty feet 
square, was an open space of mud and dust, until 
the advent of the Americans in 1846. Soon after 
that, trees were planted, of which eight only survive, 
on the north side. They are now large and hand- 
some cotton-woods. The remainder of the square 
has been lately planted with trees, and inclosed with 
a neat railing. With its waving foliage and rich 

common adobe houses, to-day, on the banks of the Euphrates and the 
Nile. The Spaniard in Mexico built his adobe as he had it in Andalusia, 
whither it was brought by the Moors from Africa, who, in their turn, hail 
received it from the East. 


carpet of Alfalfa (known in some parts of the 
United States as Chili clover), growing three feet 
high and bearing a purple blossom, it affords repose 
and pleasure to the eye, coming from any other 
part of the town. On the north side of the Plaza 
is the palace ; the governor's palace, if you please ; 
a long adobe, one story high, and one or two rooms 
deep. Notwithstanding the American portico in 
front, it has the aspect and general effect of a dilap- 
idated rope-walk. 

The three remaining sides of the square are occu- 
pied by the principal stores of the place, the fonda, 
or hotel, and the inevitable saloon, coffee-house, and 
billiard-room, where los Americanos most do con- 

Two streets, of American breadth, run from the 
east and west side of the Plaza, to the hills bound- 
ing the town on the north; on one of which, to the 
east, are the ruins of Fort Marcy, built in 1846. 
These two streets are planted with trees, and upon 
them front the buildings of the garrison, hospital, 
artillery houses, flag-staff, and government corral; 
between them, at the upper end, is the new state 
house, built of stone, and but partly finished ; be- 
hind it the new cemetery, inclosed by the Masons 
and Odd Fellows ; further over to the west, the 
Baptist church, and a few neat American dwellings. 

A street or two east of the Plaza is the cathedral, 
or ancient parish church, somewhat over one hun- 
dred years old. The queer little pigeon-houses on 
its top, as shown in Abert's sketch, are now replaced 
by square towers, having the appearance of stone. 
Of its interior I will speak in a future letter. With 
the exception of two old churches in a distant part 


of the town, there are no other public buildings. 
The few American families here reside mostly within 
two or three squares of the Plaza, to the south and 
west of which the town mainly extends. The creek, 
of which I have spoken, runs west, and divides the 
town unequally, the northern part being the larger. 
Over this creek there is of course — costvmbre del 
paes — no bridge. Houses alternate with wheat and 
corn fields that grow larger as you reach the edge of 
the town, and, in separate ranches, finally melt into 
fields and vegas until you reach the sandy desert a 
few miles below. A refreshing feature of Santa Fe 
is made by the acequias or streams of running water 
used for irrigation, which pleasantly, and in unex- 
pected places, ripple and babble at your feet as you 
wander through the town. 

The most striking animated feature of Santa Fe" 
is found in the strings or droves of donkeys, burros, 
who are at once the cart, carriage, saddle-horse, 
draught-horse, wagon, buggy, stanhope, drosky, 
jaunting-car, calesa, sled, sleigh, furniture-car, dray, 
and wheelbarrow, of the Mexican. They bring in 
incredible loads of marketing, fruit, grass, wheat, 
corn, wood, and every other conceivable thing. Pa- 
tient, docile, gentle, and long-suffering, living on 
next to nothing, they comprise, to the Mexican, the 
wealth of the Arab in his camel, the Bedouin in 
his horse, the Peruvian in his llama, the Icelander in 
his reindeer, and the Irishman in his pig. 

There goes a fleet of them past my window, 
loaded with wood from the mountain, each one 
bearing more than two men can carry. I am never 
tired of looking at their picturesque ugliness. Of 
all the dark colors, mouse prevailing, with their mild 


eyes and long ears, telegraphing all the sights and 
sounds within their observation, they always present 
a comica'l though sad appearance. But if the old 
donkey is comical, the little young one is the em- 
bodiment of all that is funny and cunning. These 
animals bring in all the fire-wood used in Santa 
Fe", the load selling at fifty cents, and rising in 
winter to one dollar. Judging by the eye, I 
should say that this was equivalent to seven dol- 
lars a cord. 

I made a point to visit the markets, to see how 
the people live. Let us reduce the word at once to 
the singular number. Formerly, the rancheros and 
Pueblos brought in their market wares to the Plaza, 
and all the early American descriptions gave us 
pictures of them standing patiently wrapped in 
their serapes, smoking their cigaritos, mingled up 
with their wares and burros. It was all very pict- 
uresque, but very dirty. The Plaza had been, time 
out of mind, the market, and it was predicted, 
while the new market-house was going up, that the 
people would never be got into it. Well, the mar- 
ket-house was hardly completed when there was a 
stampede for it which astonished the knowing ones. 
The secret was that there was a scramble for the 
best, places. It is open every day. But a small 
portion of the provisions used is sold in it, the 
greater part being ordered and brought directly to 
the houses. 

More than one half the butter used here comes from 
the land whence, in New Mexico, every thing good 
is believed to come, namely, " The States." Here 
is the Santa Fe price current : Butter, one dollar 


per pound ; beef and mutton, ten cents ; kid (entire), 
seventy-five cents to one dollar ; eggs, seventy-five 
cents to one dollar per dozen ; milk, twenty cents 
per quart; goat's milk, five cents; flour, per hun- 
dred weight, fifteen to eighteen dollars — (prob- 
ably be lower with new crop) ; salt, one dollar per 

The Pueblo Indians bring in fruit, trout, and game 
from the mountains, and, also, nearly the sole indus- 
trial productions of the country, — jars, dishes, and 
cups of pottery, some of it painted so as to impart 
an almost Etruscan or Egyptian air. Of apples 
there are scarcely any. Apricots are excellent, al- 
though cultivated carelessly. Peaches, ordinary. 
Plums and melons plenty, but inferior. Grapes, 
brought from below, both white and purple, are said 
to be very fine. Piiiones, the fruit of the nut-bearing 
pine (Pinus monophylhis), are brought in slightly 
dried by baking. The people make bread of them. 
Chile verde and chile Colorado, our green and red 
pepper, que so (cheese), onions, punchi, an inferior 
tobacco, which grows much higher than our tobacco, 
mostly used by the women, who, with hojas (corn- 
husks), neatly cut and trimmed, make their cigaritos 
at home, in the street, at the theatre or halls, and 
smoke them, too, then and there. The chile is not 
used as a mere condiment or seasoning, but as a 
dish. This and the onion are of a mildness and 
sweetness that make them different vegetables from 
ours. The onions are of great size. I like them. 
" I say it without hesitation ; I say it boldly " — I 
like them, and when I get married I intend to have 
chile Colorado frequently. This, however, is strictly 


confidential, as in my letters to my sweetheart I 
speak, in terms that I shall not repeat here, of having 
no will but hers, of — 

" Two hearts that are linked in one heavenly tie," 

and all that sort of thing. 

I hope she '11 like the chile Colorado. 


Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 4, 1866. 

There is an impression in the mind of every 
American visiting New Mexico that, as he is going 
to a Territory of the United States, he is about to 
see, what most of the other Territories are — a 
new country. On the contrary, quite the reverse. It 
is the oldest within the limits of this government; 
for well-settled history takes us nearly three hundred 
yars back to its settlement. 

There are but few things connected with the daily 
life of the people of New Mexico that are changed 
since 1594, and least of all, their agriculture. The 
small number of tools, implements, and vehicles used 
by them are of the rudest and most primitive con- 
struction, the models of many of them going back, 
not three hundred, but three thousand years. 

I can imagine no objects that would attract more 
interest and wonder at an American agricultural fair, 
than a New Mexican cart, plow, and yoke — not to 
mention some smaller things. The plow takes you 
back at once to Biblical simplicity. In looking at 
its hravy beam, some sixteen feet long, with a 
small forked piece of wood attached, you wonder, 
first, how it could ever be moved, and, secondly, 
what earthly (the proper word in that connection, I 
think) good it could ever effect. The cart is made 
of the brittle cotton-wood, in a manner that shows a 


general absence of tools in its construction. Neither 
steel, iron, nor nails are used, and strips and strings 
of raw hide fasten the pieces together. For the wheels, 
a clumsy, thick, oblong block of wood is pinned by- 
wooden pegs to two segments of a circle ; through 
these a hole is hacked to pass the axle-tree. The 
circle is, of course, never attained, an approximation 
to it being all that is thought desirable. No grease. 
Excruciatingly vocal, and murdering sleep within a 
circumference of a mile. A supply of heavy axles 
is loaded into the cart for any journey beyond a day, 
so that it is frequently half filled with them. 

The Mexican yoke consists of a straight piece of 
timber placed directly on the heads of the oxen be- 
hind the horns, to which it is fastened with strings 
of raw hide. The piece of wood is fastened in the 
same manner around its centre, the end of the thong 
attaching it going to the tongue of the cart, or, if 
there is more than one yoke, to the cattle behind. 
The cattle thus push, not pull, heavy loads with their 
heads. In the good old times, and it is still done in 
many places, the cattle were driven thus : a man or 
boy went ahead of them with as much vocal induce- 
ment as he could throw into an unremitting stream 
of cries and whoops ; two more followed, flanking 
the cattle with more vehement language and pointed 
persuasion in the shape of sharp sticks ; and thus, 
with a cart like an ark, drawn by two or four oxen, 
driven by three or four men or boys, they might, 
possibly, effect in four hours what a small American 
dirt cart would do better in twenty minutes. Some 
improvement, however, has been effected, for one of 
the first things you notice is the " gee-haw " of the 
Mexicans, who speak not a word of English, but 


drive their oxen as an American does. They some- 
times add words of vehement profanity, which they 
take, I imagine, to be the necessary complement of 
" gee-haw." Most of them have become quite ex- 
pert thus, in the employment of American trains 
crossing the plains, and the science of ox-driving is 
becoming diffused. 

The soil of the valley of the Rio Grande does not 
look rich to one accustomed to see the Miamis, the 
Muskingum, and the Scioto; it is generally sandy, 
and looks thin, but under the Mexican treatment of 
irrigation, even without manure, produces remarkably 
abundant crops of wheat, corn, oats, beans, melons, 
chile, onions, etc., two crops a year being frequently 
obtained, particularly in the lower part of the valley. 
Tomatoes, cabbage, and beets are excellent, and of 
large size — the beets enormous. We have no onions 
in the United States that can compare with the New 
Mexican onion in size or mildness of flavor. Pump- 
kins also do well, but the potato, for some reason I 
could not ascertain, does not thrive. 

I could not obtain any precise information, al- 
though I frequently asked the question, as to the 
average yield of grain per acre, but, judging by the 
eye, I should say that thirty bushels of corn to the 
acre would be a good crop. But little pains are taken 
in any part of the process of raising one. The earth 
is merely scratched, and corn sown almost broadcast. 
The corn is small and hard, and troublesome and 
dangerous feeding for horses and mules not accus- 
tomed to it. 

The amount of land now cultivated in New 
Mexico is about two hundred and fifty square miles. 
Vacant land, susceptible of cultivation (not includ- 


ing the immense tracts occupied by the Moquis, 
Navajoes and other tribes), is estimated at about 
five hundred square miles. These seven hundred 
and fifty square miles cultivated as usual here, 
would no doubt support a population more than 
twice as large as the present. 

Probably not more than one third of the bottom 
land in the valley of the Rio Grande susceptible of 
cultivation, is under irrigation. Besides this, there 
are innumerable fertile spots in the vicinity of springs 
and among the mountains capable of good pro- 
duction. Passing through the Carnuel Canon and 
San Pedro Pass, I saw some as fine-looking fields 
(temporales) of corn and wheat as the most of those 
in the valley. 

The model, and at the same time, the largest farm 
in New Mexico, is that of Maxwell, the well-known 
trapper, hunter, and guide. Mr. Maxwell cultivates 
5000 acres, and employs some five hundred hands. 
On the ten miles square which his property embraces, 
he is said to have upward of 1000 horses, 10,000 
cattle, and 40,000 sheep. Among his cattle and 
horses are some fine specimens of imported blooded 
stock. His ranch is situated on the Cimarron River> 
a small stream in the northern part of the Territory. 

Irrigation is effected by damming the streams, and 
throwing the water into first large, and then smaller 
ditches (acequias'), intersecting and running through 
all the land under cultivation. Under the Spanish 
government, grantees with large grants were obliged 
to take a good proportion of temporales (that is, land 
dependent upon the seasons and rain for water) 
along with the acres susceptible of irrigation. 

Inhabitants of villages usually locate their lands, 


as nearly as possible, together, so as to enjoy the 
advantage of the common labor on the acequias. 

No engineering science is used in their construction, 
and it is marvelous with what skill these ignorant 
herdsmen conduct the streams hither and thither, 
through and over hills, plains, and valleys. I have 
frequently heard Americans say that the Mexicans 
make water run up-hill ! 

These acequias are the most important features 
of the country. The subsistence of the people de- 
pends upon them, and the laws protecting them fill 
many pages of the statute book. Thus, no mills can 
be placed on a stream used for irrigation. All owners 
of tillable lands must labor on acequias, whether they 
cultivate their own lands or not. All animals, when 
not corraled, must be accompanied and guarded by 
a shepherd or herder. Any injury resulting to fields 
or acequias from animals, must be paid for by the 
owner of the animals. 

A person owning land that he wishes to irrigate 
can take water wheresoever he finds it, and construct 
his ditches through any private property, paying 
assessed value of land so used. Where a number 
join together, there is no assessment. 

An overseer of acequias is elected in every precinct, 
who fixes the number of laborers to be furnished by 
each proprietor, apportions their work, distributes 
the water, taking into consideration the nature of 
the seed, crops, and plants cultivated, sees to regula- 
tion of currents of water, etc. 

There are five legislative acts and nearly fifty, 
sections, some of them quite long, regulating this 
water question. 

Manure is never used, and when their cattle, goat, 


and sheep-folds — inclosed circular or square spaces, 
surrounded by poles stuck in the ground — become 
offensively full of it, the remedy is simply to pull up 
stakes and corral the animals elsewhere. • I have 
heard of but one case of a Mexican using manure 
on his fields. There may be others, but, on inquiry, 
I was unable to ascertain them. Senor Salvador 
Armijo, of Albuquerque, had 2000 loads hauled last 
spring and distributed over six hundred acres of land. 
He has also put into use American plows and other 
agricultural instruments, and imported American 
seed corn. 

Hoes, axes, sickles, and the other agricultural tools 
used are of indescribable forms, and incomprehensi- 
ble adaptation to their use. A story is told of an 
American who hired himself to a Mexican, and quit 
instantly on having handed him a hoe to cut wood, 
and an axe to cut grass with ; I have myself seen 
quartermasters' proposals for hay, specifying that the 
hay should be cut with a scythe — not with a hoe. 

The Mexican axe is a curious tool, resembling our 
common pick. The sickle is the only implement 
used for harvesting, and does duty for cradle, scythe, 

Cattle do well, are easily raised, and increase rap- 
idly, but the stock is coarse, inferior, and not properly 
cared for in any respect. New Mexico is essentially 
a pastoral country, and yet milk in Santa Fe is 
twenty cents a quart. This is somewhat better than 
in Texas — also a pasture country — where milk is 
almost unattainable. 

Pigs in New Mexico have somewhat the appear- 
ance of a cross between a wild animal and a dis- 
tinguished visitor, being generally seen in a single 


specimen with a leather collar about the neck, to 
which is attached an iron chain or rope whose ex- 
tremity is securely picketed to the ground. I can 
imagine the shrug of contempt that would pervade a 
Kentucky drover's shoulders at the sight of one. The 
breed is certainly not choice. 

Sheep need but the absence of the wild Indian and 
the slightest care in the introduction of choice breeds 
to enable New Mexico to control the wool market, 
not only of the United States but of the world. 
They are kept in immense herds, and feed themselves 
the year round. Two boys, with two shepherd dogs, 
will guard a flock of from two to three thousand, 
going out upon the mesas with them, and sometimes 
not returning home for months. Goats are gener- 
ally mingled with the sheep, for the reason that they 
will lead boldly into places where the sheep cannot 
be driven. The proprietors of some of the largest 
haciendas own flocks of from 20,000 to 30,000. They 
are more healthy here than any place I know of in 
the United States, and their only dangerous enemy 
is the Navajoe and the Apache. When the Ameri- 
cans first came to Santa Fe", sheep could be had for 
twenty -five cents. Now, the unshorn sheep -skin 
alone sells for about thirty-five cents. 

An official estimate, made in 1851, makes the 
number of sheep stolen by the Indians in eighteen 
months prior to September 1, 1850, amount to 

In the year 1863, 24,389 sheep, 21 horses, 205 
mules, and 402 cattle were taken by the Indians ; 
with a per contra of 24,266 sheep, 152 horses, 232 
mules, 215 cattle, and 27 burros taken from the 
Indians by the troops. 


In like manner, in 1864, 4250 sheep, 26 horses, 
150 mules, and 132 cattle taken by the Indians, 
against 12,284 sheep, 2472 horses, 35 mules, and 31 
cattle taken from them. 

The high mesas, or table-lands, indefinite in ex- 
tent, furnish illimitable pasturage of the best descrip- 
tion. They are unfit for cultivation, but are covered 
with a rich carpet of curled gramma, the most nu- 
tritious grass in the world, affording unsurpassed 
pasturage nearly the whole year round. This grass, 
(Atheropogon oligostaclyum) is indigenous only to this 
section of America, and its nutritious qualities are 
so remarkable that horses and mules will leave grain 
to feed upon it. Our teamsters pronounce it superior 
to either redtop or timothy. Made into hay, it is 
purchased by our quartermasters at forty to fifty 
dollars per ton. Its stalk grows from ten to fourteen 
inches high, and gives off near the top, at right 
angles, a stem two or three inches long bearing the 
seed vessels. 

The wines of El Paso del Norte are frequently 
referred to, and. have attained a certain reputation. 
El Paso is on the Mexican side (west) of the Rio 
Grande, near the southern boundary of New Mexico. 
Several varieties of the grape grow there in great 
luxuriance, and its culture is successful all the way 
up the valley of the Rio Grande to the neighborhood 
of Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque and miles 
from El Paso. It is not grown as far north as Santa 
Fe. I have already referred to the vineyards about 
Bernalillo. The vines, I remarked, are neither 
staked nor trellised. In the autumn they are cut or 
trimmed down close, and in spring shoot out from 
the stump, so that all the fruit hangs very low. 


During winter, the best cultivators cover them with 
straw. I have tested numerous specimens of wine, 
both white and red, made from these grapes, and 
find that it is capable of being made excellent. The 
color is fine, the body very good, and the aroma 
pleasant. The Mexicans and Pueblos who manu- 
facture a great deal of it, add sugar for immediate 
use, and it is difficult to obtain any that has age. 

With intelligent manipulation and good cellars, 
superior wines may yet be made throughout the wine 
growing portion of the valley. I drank some Ber- 
nalillo wine at Albuquerque that was quite as good 
as any made at El Paso. 1 

I, unfortunately, leave too early to see the grapes, 
which are said to be delicious. They are brought 
in quantities to Santa Fe", and sell for three to four 
dollars a bushel. The wine readily brings four to 
five dollars per gallon, although some sold at that 
price is quite inferior. 

1 See Appendix No. III. 



Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 6, 18G6. 

Judging from the effect upon myself, I should 
say that it produces a confusing and disastrous im- 
pression upon the youthful mind to be obliged to 
read and recite, at school, long accounts of the man- 
ners and customs of foreign nations, whose people 
are described as saluting each other by knocking 
their chins, butting their foreheads, rubbing their 
noses, or spitting on the ground with the aid of their 
fingers, as some of the (not entirely uncivilized) 
tribes of North America are described as doing. I 
say it produces a confusing effect to call these per- 
formances manners, when they are, clearly, no man- 
ners at all, highly impolite, and utterly at variance 
with the best traditions of good society. 

I cannot undertake, on the strength of not quite 
a month's sojourn in New Mexico, to describe, or 
pronounce upon, the customs of the country. Im- 
perfect and insufficient premises unduly magnified 
are likely to lead to deceptive conclusions, etc., etc. 

What I saw yesterday might not make the tale 
for " all the year round." The situation of one man 
is not, necessarily, the condition of the whole com- 
munity, and the intelligent traveller who, passing 
through a village, saw a drunken man at the town- 
pump, may not have been correct in entering this 



memorandum in his journal : " Inhabitants of Fru- 
mentus addicted to drunkenness, but very fond of 
water." And, I might not be strictly veridical if I 
were to tell you that all the women in New Mexico, 
when riding on the same horse with their cavalier, 
sit before the gentleman, who with one hand sup- 
ports the lady, and in the other carries her hoop- 
skirt ! This attention is both delicate and consider- 
ate ; for the lady could not ride with the hoops, nor 
do without them on reaching her destination. I saw 
one such case. I remark that the Mexican women 
ride on the right side of the horse ; with us, ladies 
ride on the left. 

Nevertheless, an excellent chapter, very properly 
headed Manners, might be truthfully written on the 
New Mexicans, for their manners are excellent. A 
more sincerely polite people I never saw. 

You may speak to the most humble rustic or 
peon, and you will receive an answer not only re- 
spectful and attentive, but scrupulously polite. 
With the women this is still more marked, and you 
may often find, in their mud hovels, the manners 
and grace of a duchess, adorned with no drapery 
but the two strictly essential garments of the sex. 
And this politeness has a solid basis of kindness 
and true charity. I mean the real Christian virtue. 

The respect of children (even if they themselves 
are old enough to be fathers and mothers) for their 
parents is something beautiful, and most worthy 
of imitation in the great republic at home. In like 
manner, respect for old age is strikingly exhibited. 

In the matter of costumes I find the reality of 186G 
very different from the descriptions and pictures of 
travellers, even as late as ten years ago. In notnir^ 


has American influence so strongly shown itself as in 
the changed and changing dress of both men and 
women in New Mexico. Less than fifteen years 
since the universal dress of the women was, first, the 
essential, or the indispensable ; second, a petticoat, 
more or less worked or ornamented, according to 
the means and condition of the wearer ; third, the 
reboso, a sort of scarf, worn to cover the head and 
greater part of the face, the ends falling in front, 
with one of them thrown gracefully back over the 
shoulder. If a head-dress was used, the reboso 
was worn around the shoulders. The article has al- 
most entirely disappeared. I have seen but two or 
three, although I am told there are some rich and 
handsome ones kept in reserve for gala days. The 
American black shawl now replaces the reboso, 
dresses obtain, and hoop-skirts appear to find ready 
sale at the mercantile emporiums of Isaac, Jacob, 
and Abraham. 

One cause of this change of costume is, I make 
no doubt, the cessation of trade with Mexico, and 
particularly with the cities of Durango, Saltillo, and 
Chihuahua. From these places came the rebosos, 
serapes, handsomely worked blankets, saddles, shoes, 
and a variety of other articles essentially Mexican. 

The men formerly wore a jacket and trousers 
handsomely slashed or ornamented up the outer 
seam with silver buttons, or some richly colored 
cloth or velvet. 

The serape was worn at all seasons, but is now 
only seen in w inter, and in the towns is becoming 
displaced by overcoats and cloaks. Doubtless, Amer- 
ican example and influence are the main cause of 
these changes, and it were to be wished they were 
always as healthy and beneficial. 


Santa Fe, August 7, 186G. 
New Mexico is very rich, not only in metallic 
ores, but in mineral products not metallic. Among 
the former she has mines of gold, silver, copper, and 
iron ; and among the latter, bituminous coal, anthra- 
cite coal, kaolin or porcelain clay, and salt. I have 
seen all these products here, some of them in the 
localities where found ; and, considering the facility 
of reaching their deposits, and the incontrovertibly 
rich yield to be obtained from them, I cannot but 
wonder that they should be allowed to remain com- 
paratively undisturbed, and almost unproductive. 


The knowledge of the existence of gold mines in 
this country is coeval with its earliest exploration in 
1581. During the entire period of both Spanish 
and Mexican occupation they were worked to great 
advantage, and almost without intermission. 

The country is full of abandoned mines, many of 
which have not been worked since the Indian rising 
and massacre of 1680, which is said, by some author- 
ities, to have been brought about by the tyranny of 
the Spaniards in compelling the people to toil in 
them. Most of them were filled up, and their en- 
trances concealed by the Indians, who looked upon 
them as the cause of their servitude and oppression. 
Of many of these, all trace but a vague tradition 


has been lost, and the hunter or trapper occasionally 
discovers one by accident. 

Under the Mexican government there was much 
that was arbitrary in the administration of this fron- 
tier province. Its mineral wealth and proximity 
drew to it a great many Americans and foreigners 
from the United States ; and although many suc- 
ceeded in mining operations, a much greater num- 
ber were obliged to abandon their pursuits, and fre- 
quently their property, in consequence of the avarice 
and injustice of the authorities. The Americans 
were, generally, the most capable and successful ; 
but no sooner had they succeeded in overcoming all 
the obstacles that Mexican laws threw in their way, 
and made their enterprise profitable, than the gov- 
ernment, or rather the officials, were sure to inter- 
fere, and on some pretext — or no pretext at all — 
coolly eject them. 

Among the principal mines that are known, and 
of which the ore has been thoroughly and satisfac- 
torily tested, are the two Placers, Old and New, only 
twenty-seven and thirty-seven miles from Santa Fe, 
the Pinos Altos mines, the San Juan, those near 
Taos, the San Jose, those near Fort Stanton, and 
many others. As I write, exciting reports of fresh 
and rich discoveries of gold near Fort Stanton are 
coming in. The washings at the Old Placer were 
worked by thousands of people from 1829 to 1846, 
and the amount of gold taken from the two Placers 
was estimated, some years, at $40,000, and others at 
$60,000, rising in value, toward 1845, as high as 
$250,000. The gold washings at the Old Placer 
were discovered by accident in 1828, and filled with 
people, until, in 1839, the discovery of the New 


Placer, ten miles south, caused a partial stampede 
of the diggers. Here, at the New Placer, there was 
no water; and, although every drop used was trans- 
ported some distance by burros, the washing was 
profitable. A large town sprang up immediately, 
containing more than a hundred houses and twenty- 
two stores, transacting more business than was done 
at Santa Fe. Meantime, both at the Old and New 
Placer, quartz mining and washing were carried on 
to a considerable extent, and several mills put in 

The process used was of the most primitive de- 
scription. The ore was carried up in bags made 
of skin, loaded on burros, and taken slowly and 
laboriously over the mountains to the mill — in 
one case (the San Pedro) nine miles. It was first 
pounded or ground up by hand, then put in the 
mill, a small, circular basin formed with large stones 
(generally of porphyritic rock) and one or two mill- 
stones, turned by mule power. The millstones, 
placed on their face, revolved round a centre-pole 
turned by the animal. To the imperfectly-powdered 
ore, water, and then quicksilver, were added, and the 
usual amalgamation took place. They used to work 
in this way seven hundred and fifty pounds of the 
ore dailv, and obtain from it about twelve dollars' 
worth of gold. No labor but that of peons could 
make such an operation pay. By such a process the 
ok; could not be made to yield fifty dollars per ton, 
whereas by the disintegrating and desulphurizing 
process it would yield three hundred and fifty dollars 
per ton, and the very refuse or tailings were worth 
far more than was first obtained from them. Thus, 
the Black Hawk Mill, at Central City, Colorado, one 


of the finest stamp mills in the world, finds ready 
purchasers for its refuse quartz or tailings, in parties 
who pay liberally for it, and make money on it, by 
the smelting and desulphurizing process. 

The points and places I have indicated as mines, 
are, in fact, localities of numerous mines rather than 
separate and distinct ones. Thus, at the Old and 
New Placer are the Ortiz, the Cunningham, the Ra- 
mirez, the Tunica, and many other veins, discovered, 
but not yet opened. At Pinos Altos are the Mosten, 
the Santa Pieta, San Jose, and numerous others. 

The most available of all these mines are prob- 
ably those of the New Placer. They are of easy 
access by a good road from Santa Fe, at a distance 
of thirty-eight miles. Two lodes have been opened 
here. One of them, called the Ramirez, has been 
worked for nearly a hundred years. I described the 
appearance of this mine in my letter of July 31. It 
is of great width, and some of its excavations go 
down sixty feet. I examined the mill down at the 
village of Tuerto, where its ore had been roughly 
worked since 1846. I understand it averaged thirty 
dollars per ton, the ore assaying fifty-seven dollars. 

A short distance up the mountain from the Rami- 
rez, is the San Miguel lode, lately opened. Its ore 
is very rich, averaging two hundred dollars per ton, 
some of it yielding seven hundred. 

A large tract of land, embracing these and other 
mines, has lately been purchased from its Mexican 
proprietor, Ramirez, by an American company, who 
propose to commence operations as soon as possible. 
They will, most probably, open new lodes in other 
parts of the mountain (the Tuerto), which is about 
three miles long and one mile wide, and might al- 


most as properly be called the Gold Mountain as the 
Iron Mountain of Missouri be named as it is. The 
veins of gold-bearing quartz are visible in every di- 
rection, and the ore is easily got out at almost any 
point. The want of water is said to be the only 
drawback, and a proposition has been made to tap 
the Pecos River, and bring its waters, nearly sixty 
miles, to the mines. I think it highly probable that 
the inhabitants of the banks of the Pecos, below the 
point to be tapped, would object to any such little 
aquatic arrangement, and I venture to express the 
opinion that, at one eighth of the expense and 
trouble, a tram railway could be built to carry the 
ore to the Rio Grande, a much shorter distance, 
where the mill could be erected and carried on to the 
best possible advantage. Suppose it cost $50,000, 
$100,000, or even $200,000. What if it did? 
Such a sum as the highest of these would be a 
trifle for those who work these mines successfully. 
It was in their vicinity that many lumps, ranging 
from $200 up to $3400 in value, were found in 
gulch mining. I remark that a detailed description 
of these mines is given by Lieutenant-colonel Emory, 
in his military reconnoissance, published by Con- 
gress, in 1848. 

A very old, and, it is said, very rich, silver mine, 
worked by the Spaniards and Mexicans in former 
days, is found in the Cerillos, or Little Hills, situ- 
ated between the Old Placer and Santa Fe. I am 
informed that one of the shafts, upwards of one hun- 
dred and fifty feet deep, is now full of water, and 
that lately a canoe was discovered in it — formerly 
used, it is supposed, for passage from one shaft to 


The San Adelia and Stevenson mines, in Organ 
Mountain, are more modern, and known to be quite 
rich. The former has been merely prospected, giving 
one hundred and fifty dollars to the ton of ore. The 
latter has been worked by five different lodes for its 
argentiferous galena. Other openings have been 
worked for their copper ores, and for malachite. 
The lodes of argentiferous galena are never less 
than two feet wide, ranging up to five and even six 

Argentiferous galena also abounds at Pinos Altos, 
the Stone Corral, and Apache Pass ; and old silver 
mines formerly worked by the Spaniards in the 
neighborhood of Taos are full of long and exten- 
sive galleries, some of which have been worked in 
of late years. 

The mines of copper best known are those of 
Santa Rita and Hanover. Santa Rita, after having 
been worked for nearly two centuries by the Span- 
iards and Mexicans, is said to have yielded a for- 
tune to a subsequent owner, who retired to Chihua- 
hua to enjoy it. The native copper is found by Pro- 
fessor Owen to be as pure as that of Lake Superior. 

The Hanover mine is quite near the Santa Rita, 
and yields from oxide of copper fifty-eight per cent, 
of copper. The work at both these mines has been 
put an end to, of late years, by hostile Indians. 
The Hanover mine, until thus stopped, was worked 
by a Mr. Hinkel, a practical German (Saxon) metal- 
lurgist, whose losses by the savages have compelled 
him to sell out his interest in the mines. The copper 
from this mine is well known to the trade in the 
United States, and has always commanded as high 
a price as that of the best Russia copper. There is 


also an abundance of iron ore near the Hanover 

The neighborhood is rich in grazing land, timber, 
pines, walnut, and oak ; also marble, sandstone, 
and limestone. Nothing is needed to develop and 
make useful all these sources of comfort and wealth 
to a numerous agricultural and mining population, 
but the removal of the Indians. With their disap- 
pearance, every thing needful would follow — popu- 
lation, emigration, labor, capital, and all the rest. 

The Jemez copper mines, only forty miles west of 
Santa Fe, are also excellent, yielding from the vit- 
reous copper sixty per cent, of metallic copper. 

Iron is found, in ore, at the Old Placer (gold) and 
Hanover (copper) mines, and various other points. 

I have seen a great many specimens of appar- 
ently fine coal, both anthracite and bituminous. 
They both exist in large quantities within a short 
distance of Santa Fe. Of the bituminous, I saw a 
large bed cropping out near the Tuerto village. It 
is within the purchase of the company owning the 
gold mines. At the Raton Mountain there is a bed 
of the bituminous five feet thick. It is also found 
near Fort Craig, and various other localities. I must 
here state that I have no personal knowledge of the 
burning qualities of any of these coals, and have 
heard it stated that they cannot be used to advan- 
tage. On the other hand, Professor Owen speaks 
of the anthracite near Santa Fe as a true anthra- 
cite, not semi-bituminous, but as entirely destitute 
of bitumen as the Pennsylvania variety. 

Porcelain clay or kaolin, found near the San 
Jose copper mines, is in a bed of about four feet in 
thickness, and probably running through the entire 


breadth of the mountain. Professor Owen says it 
is a layer of beautifully white and decomposing 
feldspar, in the porphyritic granite, sufficient to sup- 
ply many works for years with the best material for 

Salt in most countries is obtained with difficulty, 
whether, as at Cracow, by deep mining, in England 
by boiling sea-water, or at Syracuse or Kanawha 
by wells and pumping. 

The New Mexican has none of this trouble. 

" All the salt lakes within this territory, and the 
salt which has or may accumulate on the shores 
thereof, is, and shall be, free to the citizens, and each 
one shall have power to collect salt on any occasion 
free from molestation or disturbance." 1 

And section second of the same act makes it fel- 
ony to interfere with any person gathering salt, or 
going to or returning from the salines. Imagine, if 
you can, the astonishment of an official of the French 
Regie, or of the Austrian Salz-Kammergut, at such 
a state of things as this ! Salt for the taking ! No 
tax on it! Nooberhaupt inspectoren, assessoren, und 
dergleichen ! What is the world coming to ? 

Accordingly, your Mexican, or any other man liv- 
ing in New Mexico, takes his ox-team and wagon to 
a point some eighty miles southeast of Santa Fe, 
on the high table land between the Rio Grande and 
the Pecos, where there are extensive salines, or salt 
lakes. Arrived there, all that is to be done is to 
drive into the bed — dry at certain seasons — of one 
of the lakes, and shovel in the salt (muriate of soda) 
until his wagon is full. The salt is used precisely 
as it comes from the bed, without purification or 

1 Laws of New Mexico : Act of February 1, 1854. 


preparation of any description. I asked some of 
the butchers in Santa Fe concerning it, and they 
tell me they use it for their corned beef and other 
salted meats with perfect success. It is coarse, va- 
rying in size and color between the Kanawha and 
Liverpool, and closely resembles the common alum 
salt. It is sold at Santa Fe for fifty cents to a dollar 
per bushel. The largest of the lakes from which 
this salt is obtained is over five miles in circumfer- 
ence. The deposit is in immense beds, of unknown 
and unascertainable depth. 

Turquoise, called by the ancient Mexicans Thalc- 
huill, and highly prized by them, is found in veins 
running through a light colored trachyte in the Ceril- 
los, w 7 here exists the silver mine described in a pre- 
ceding paragraph. It is greatly valued by the Indians, 
for ornament, and it is said that numerous moccasin 
tracks in the neighborhood of the mine show that it 
is frequently visited by them at night. 

Garnets are found on the Pecos (Fort Sumner), 
and near Fort Canby ; chalcedony and agates, near 
the Canon Bonito, Fort Cummings, and many other 
places. Of the agates, I saw nearly a wine-glass- 
ful in the possession of one person. In this mineral 
connection may be mentioned the numerous 


The hot springs of Las Vegas (125° Fahrenheit) 
have long been celebrated. Those at Ojo Caliente 
are 150° Fahrenheit. The water in the central basin 
is eight feet deep, and a scientific analysis of it shows 
the following result : Free carbonic acid gas, bi-car- 
bonate of lime, bicarbonate of magnesia, chloride 
of sodium, sulphate of magnesia, sulphate of soda, 
and a trace of carbonate of the protoxide of iron. 


All this is but a sketch of a full enumeration of 
the mirieral wealth of New Mexico. The mining 
laws of New Mexico are very liberal. The country 
is open — no lands having, as yet, been surveyed 
for sale. And all these riches are to be sought, not 
under a torrid zone ; not where sickness, fever, and 
miasma prevail ; not where a stifling heat or nox- 
ious vapors paralyze effort and bring disease ; but 
under clear skies, a healthful and delightful temper- 
ature, an atmosphere light, dry, and electrical, that 
renders mere existence enjoyable, and breathing a 
pleasure ; where miasma is unknown, and fevers do 
not come ; where flies almost absent themselves, 
and mosquitoes are not seen ; where artificial soda 
fountains are not desired, and a blanket is needed 
every night in the year ; and where you are not com- 
pelled to make a peripatetic bath of yourself, and 
linen coats are at a discount. 


Santa Fe, August 8, 18G6. 

The theatre is an amusement attainable but twice 
a week at Santa Fe". I mean, of course, the Spanish, 
or Mexican theatre, for there is but one. 

Starting to go to it at eight o'clock, I was informed 
by a knowing one that I would be early if I went at 
nine. Going at nine, the performance began at ten 
— an hour sufficiently advanced to stamp it as fash- 

The edifice consisted of the open space, or placita, 
of a large house, covered with muslin for a roof, and 
fitted up with rough benches. 

For a curtain, two or three veteran reserve coun- 
terpanes sewed together, which an old man, " seen 
of all beholders," at his post from beginning to end 
of the performance, stood by to " let go " at the 
proper moment. 

For scenery, some strips of painted canvas. 

For lights, a few flaring and giddy candles. 

For orchestra, quarter section of a brass band. 

Entrance, one dollar. 

Where these people got their respective dollars, 
was beyond my comprehension, and, having obtained 
them, I equally wondered at their spending them 
here ; for they were the plebs, oi polloi. Among the 
audience, and not far from me, were two colored 
women, from the States, of course, both of whom 


spoke Spanish fluently ; also, some six or eight of 
my friends, the Zuni Indians, whom I had seen in 
the morning. Throughout drama, farce, and inter- 
lude, they sat silent and never moved a muscle, nor 
their seats. 

After divers polkas by the brass section, the cur- 
tain rises on an ecclesiastic who indulges in an un- 
necessarily loud monologue. To him a servitor, who 
announces " El Rey." 

Majesty comes in, monopolizes the conversation, 
and says less in more words than- I would have 
thought it possible for any one to do. He talks well, 
though, and in good Spanish. He is the King of 
Arragon, and is uneasy in his mind about some little 
marriage arrangement. 

The King being gone, enter a large lady dressed in 
black velvet. All large ladies — I advance the proposi- 
tion boldly — all large ladies in black velvet are in- 
terested in some marriage question, and this one was 
no exception to the rule. She was bent on vexing 
the ecclesiastic, and flatly contradicted him on several 
important points. Whereupon he astonishes her by 
reading a document he had somewhere about his 
person. Whereupon she demolishes both him and 
his document with a little piece of paper she like- 
wise had concealed nearly at the top of her person. 
Ecclesiastic is vexed, works himself up to desperation, 
unlocks that well-known secret drawer, and produces 
manuscript number three. At which, large person 
is astonished, but not silenced ; as she proves, by 
going him two better, and producing a pair of little 
billets doux from some deep and more intimate recess 
near the same top of her person, the which billets 
doux seem bitter unto ecclesiastic, effectually settle 


the h — I mean the matter, and visit him with " as- 
tonishment and unknown pangs." 

Large lady in black velvet leaves him with a swing 
of crinoline and a speech that brings down the 

Act Second — El Rey, surrounded and followed 
by a numerous and brilliant retinue of courtiers and 
grandees (stage just twelve feet square), enters, lead- 
ing by the hand the young person (all in white 
arrayed) he is to marry. To him enters the Pope's 
Nuncio, who reads the largest document yet pro- 
duced, and creates a serious, though decided, sensa- 

The King puts in a demurrer couched in much 
finer language than any to be found in Chitty's 

Nuncio overrules it with a wave of his hand. 

Young woman faints. 

Large woman in black velvet pretends to be sorry 
for her, and " lets on " as though she were adminis- 
tering consolation, when she is, in fact, only sticking 
pins in that young person — a thing I have known 
frequently to be done by various women of assorted 
sizes, as well off, as on, the stage. 

King rages, and goes on terribly ; admits hand- 
somely that the Pope has a certain amount of juris- 
diction in his own States, but that he (" Yo El Rey ") 
is King of Arragon and sovereign thereof; and as 
the curtain falls on his troubles, the sectional brass 
band strikes up " John Brown's body lies a-moulder- 
ing," etc. 

When the drama opened, and I obtained a vista 
of endless monologue and prosy dialogue, with little 
or no dramatic action and effect — as far removed 


from what would suit the New York Bowery theatre 
as any thing that can be imagined in that line — I 
could not understand how such an audience could 
sit it through. But they did, and appeared to enjoy 
it vastly. The further removed from them all the 
sentiments and associations of the play, the more 
they liked it. They listened attentively to the longest 
passages, and the more elevated in tone, language, 
and sentiment, the more it delighted them. 

One large Mexican woman near me, whose con- 
sumption of cigaritos increased with the interest of 
the drama, warmly espoused the cause of the young 
woman, against her husband, and when the play was 
over, repeated to him with great effect two or three 
tines from it, in which man's constancy was spoken 
of in a manner " quite sarcastical." 

There was no noise, but a decorous applause, save 
only from a specimen of the omnipresent American 
rowdy, who, of course, was there drunk, and with a 
pistol in his pocket. 

A farce followed. The King of Arragon was now 
a merry cobbler — the lady in black velvet, the cob- 
bler's wife. There was a difference of opinion, and 
a consequent row in the family, which produced the 
most hilarious mirth. And now the Mexicans were 
as merry as before they were attentive and serious ; 
and when all was over they dispersed as quietly as 
if " meetin ' " was out, disturbed only by my re- 
spected countryman, who was ready, he said, to 
" whip any d — d greaser." 

The art of making a flourish in the play-bills, or 
programme, appears to have reached this secluded 
valley. Here is the announcement of a performance 
of a few nights ago : 

184 BAILES. 

" Teatro Mejicano ! Gran Funcion para la noche 
del Domingo 5 de Agosto de 1866. The represen- 
tation" (I translate) "given to-night is of one of 
those dramas in which every thing respires life, 
youth, and enthusiasm. Its author is the eminent 
Victor Hugo, who, like another Lord Byron, has 
centered upon himself the attention of his own 
country and of all Europe. People rush in crowds to 
witness his pieces when represented in the theatres, 
his countrymen honor him, and he is called by them 
the Father of the French Romantic School." 

I did not see it, but the illumination must have 
been a grand affair on that stage. " Pay as usual," 
and " commence at the usual hour." Now there is 
an edifying specimen for you of the good under- 
standing that should exist between an impressario 
and his audience ! " Commence at the usual hour, 
weather permitting." 

Bailes I have described in a former letter. When 
the Americans first came they were called fandangos ; 
but that name is now considered low and vulgar. 
Bailes differ in style, quality and composition, and 
distinctions must be made. I will endeavor to clas- 
sify them. There is, — 

First, the baile proper (which is improper). 

Second, the gente baile. 

Third, the gente baile. 

Fourth, the baile gente Jino decente. 

The sex attending No. 1 is, simply, not " on the 
street." Those of No. 2 are exclusive " for a term 
of months or years," as the case may be. Those of 
No. 3 are all American attachments, and arc pointed 
out as Judge A.'s, Mr. B.'s, Captain C.'s woman, 
etc., as the case may be. The Mexicans, with a dash 


of sarcasm, sometimes designate them as " Las 
wayfas Americanas." No. 4 are, as the designation 
eloquently expresses it, not only exclusive, but what 
is more and better, decent. Newly arrived Ameri- 
cans look upon the baile as a Mexican institution ; 
but I am assured by Mexicans that it exists only by, 
through, and for " Los Americanos." 

Take away the Americans, and the baile would 
be of the things that were, just as Mabille and the 
Jarclin des Fleurs would suddenly depart life if the 
strangers left Paris. The baile, class four, might be 
properly taken out of the category of bailes, as it is 
usually given at a private house, and is, in fact, 
merely a respectable social party. At the three other 
classes the Mexican (man) pur sang- is scarcely ever 
seen. American dollars alone keep them alive. 

It is but little trouble to get them up. A tavern 
or coffee-house keeper sweeps out a hall, sticks up a 
few sconces, pays two or three musicians, and makes 
money in the operation, by the sale of his liquors for 
the men, and " dulces " for the women, every cavalier 
"treating" or refreshing his partner at the end of 
each set, which, I will do them the justice to say, are 
all unconscionably long. 

The women ? Traviata ! 

And yet, poor traviata as she is, I never saw, in 
any society, more perfect decorum and modesty (yes, 
I mean modesty) of demeanor. I remember a mild 
joke in vogue some years ago, of calling a fashion- 
able party at home a " low-neck and short-sleeve " 
affair. Nothing of the kind here. The dresses are 
high and long; a shawl — generally the piece de 
resistance of the toilet — is worn while they sit, and 
put off when they dance, and both investiture and 


divestiture are done with grace and gravity. If there 
is an undue pressure from personal contact in waltz- 
ing, the cavalier is gently pushed back with one 
finger to his shoulder. There is no loud talking, and 
absolutely no laughing. No introduction is required, 
and, indeed, I have seen men stand out on the floor, 
and simply beckon a desired partner. If there is an 
altercation or violent quarrel, bordering on a fight, 
they stand motionless as statues. When not on the 
floor dancing, they sit around the wall, conversing 
with each other, or smoking their cigaritos, which is 
here, for women of all classes, perfectly proper. 

The scarcity, and sometimes almost total absence, 
of American female society, has had much to do 
with keeping up these balls. Americans who come 
here make no secret of leaving their strict notions of 
morality behind them. Females with no marriage 
certificate at home, are called by the name of their 
protectors ; and the gentlemen in question make no 
secret at all of the matter, and coolly call costumbre 
del paes that which they themselves foster and, to a 
great extent, create. 

I had something to say about the American ladies 
I met in New Mexico, but can not properly write it 
in this connection, nor in this chapter. I am per- 
fectly well aware that this matter of bailes may be 
considered what is called " a delicate subject." 
Nevertheless, I have no apology whatever to make 
for discussing it. It forms too large and prominent 
a feature in American life here to be overlooked or 
passed over in silence ; and while giving due credit 
to the poor creatures referred to, for a propriety of 
demeanor that elevates them far above the corre- 


sponding class with us in the States, it is well to 
understand, on the other hand, that vice is only the 
more insidious and strong, when stripped of its re- 
pulsive features. 

The Danse Macabre is over ! 


Santa Fe, August 9, 1866. 

Section 3 of the Bill of Rights (" Laws of New 
Mexico," page 636) declares " That all men have a 
natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty 
God according to the dictates of their own con- 
science ; that no person can ever be hurt, molested, 
or restrained in his religious professions if he do not 
disturb others in their religious worship ; and that 
all Christian churches shall be protected and none 
oppressed ; and that no person on account of his re- 
ligious opinions, shall be rendered ineligible to any 
office of honor, trust, or profit." 

Section 3, Act of July 12, 1851, enacts that " No 
religious test shall be required as a qualification to 
any office or public trust in this Territory." 

Section 4, same act: "No law shall be enacted 
binding man to worship God contrary to the dictates 
of his own conscience ; no preference shall be given 
by law to any religious denomination ; and it shall 
be the duty of the Legislature to enact the neces- 
sary laws to protect equally all religious denomina- 
tions, so that they may be undisturbed and secure 
in the practice of their institutions." 

From all which it appears that man is free to 
worship God as he lists in New Mexico. 

The religion of the great bulk of the people is the 
Catholic. From all that I hear, their faith must 


have been sorely tested under the regime of the for- 
mer Mexican priesthood — a sorry set of fellows, 
from all accounts. I do not know but that they 
might as well be dismissed with the same obituary 
discourse that was once delivered at the funeral of a 
notorious sinner by a country parson who had a dis- 
taste for the job. 

" My friends," said he, " I have been urged, en- 
treated, and implored, to preach the funeral sermon 
of the man who lies here dead. I did not want to 
do it. He was a bad man, and everybody knows 
it. He kept horses, and he run 'em ; he kept cocks, 
and he fit 'em. But I have heard he was occasion- 
ally useful at fires. The bearers will now carry out 
the body. The choir will sing — 

1 Believing, we rejoice 
To see the cuss removed.' " 

With the advent of los Americanos came a changed 
state of things in the Church. It was not without 
reason that several Mexican priests were more than 
implicated in the rising or insurrection of 1847 
against the Americans, in which Governor Bent was 
massacred at Taos. The annexation of New Mex- 
ico to the United States brought it under their Cath- 
olic ecclesiastical authorities, and they knew well 
what to expect from any bishop who might come 
from us. They understood " Diana of the Ephe- 
sians." The insurrection failed. A bishop was sent 
from the United States. There was a general sus- 
pension, unfrocking, dismay, and howling among 
those Mexican priests (and it would have been diffi- 
cult to find the exceptions) who " kept cocks and fit 
'em," had cards and played 'em, indulged in house- 


keepers of an uncanonical age, and had more nieces 
than the law allowed. 

These things were not done by them in a corner. 
They were seen and known of all men, and it is un- 
necessarily squeamish to deny or gloss them over. 
Matters are changed since then. These irregulari- 
ties have disappeared, and the New Mexicans now 
have a learned, pious, laborious, and edifying priest- 
hood, mostly missionaries from France. 

I spoke, in a former letter, of the improvement 
made of late years in the exterior of the parish 
church — now the cathedral — at Santa Fe. The 
amelioration of the interior is even greater, judging 
from Lieutenant-colonel Emory's sketch of what 
he saw in 1846 : " Not a word was uttered from the 
pulpit by the priest. The interior of the church was 
decorated with some fifty crosses, a great number 
of the most miserable paintings and wax figures, 
and looking-glasses trimmed with pieces of tinsel. 
The band — the identical one used at the fandango, 
and strumming the same tunes — played without 

This statement, I make no doubt, was perfectly 
correct in 1846, but things have greatly changed, 
for two Sundays ago (just twenty years later) I 
attended service there, and of wax figures and tinsel 
and looking-glasses, there was no sign. I do not see 
any particular harm, except as a matter of taste, in 
fifty crosses. Nevertheless, there are now but one 
or two in the church. Fandango music was not 
there ; none, in fact, but the severest plain chant, in 
whose intonations the Church Gallican was plainly 

A sermon was so far from wanting that we had 


one an hour long, in which the preacher, in the best 
Castilian, talked to the people in what we call at 
home " plain English," and made them " walk Span- 
ish " on the subject of tempation and sin. He did 
not appear to stand in the slightest awe of those 
" ears polite " within whose hearing such subjects as 
judgment, and sin, and hell, should not be men- 
tioned. Indeed, some of my 'Mexican neighbors 
appeared to be quite as ill at ease as was Captain 
Dugald Dalgetty, of " provant " memory, when he 
listened in the chapel to the " twenty-fourthly, twen- 
ty-fifthly, and to conclude " of the preacher. 

" The young women," continues Colonel Emory, 
" whom we recognized as having figured at the fan- 
dango, counted their beads, tossed their heads, and 
crossed themselves, to the time of the music." 

I, too, like Colonel Emory, had been at a fandango 
the night before (my dear Colonel, we don't call 
them fandangoes now ; the world moves — nothing 
but baile will do here at present), and .1 saw at 
church a very different style of female physiognomy. 
Anonyma of the fandango is not now church-going. 

The women sit, or kneel, to the right ; the men, to 
the left. I was wedged in between a Mexican and 
an Indian, and acquired a higher estimate of their 
piety than of their domestic water privileges. 

A few pews in the upper part of the church had 
the appearance of a concession to American custom, 
and I remarked some three or four of the few Amer- 
ican ladies in the place who appeared to be members 
of the congregation. 

The Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presby- 
terian churches have all, at various times since 1846, 
established missions in the country. They have all 


failed, and there is no vestige of them, that I could 
hear of by diligent inquiry, now left, except the Bap- 
tist church at Santa Fe\ It is rather a nice-looking 
building, and with its fallen-in roof and nailed-up 
windows, irresistibly reminded me of the professional 
view of matters ecclesiastical taken by the Missis- 
sippi pilot, who, on being asked by that inquisitive 
passenger who always will get into the wheel-house : 
" What church is that ? " — at the same time pointing 
to a sad-looking meeting-house high up on the river 
bank, — replied, " She's Baptis', but they don't run 
her now." 

There are fully three hundred American Protest- 
ants in Santa Fe alone, and it is a subject of fre- 
quently expressed surprise that they should have not 
a solitary place of worship. 

There is a flourishing Masonic Lodge at Santa 
Fe, also one of Odd Fellows. The two societies 
have purchased a large and handsome lot in the 
upper part of the town, dedicated it, and laid it off 
very handsomely for a cemetery. In a few years, 
when its trees and shrubbery shall have grown up, it 
will be one of the chief ornaments of the city. 

The Mexicans, who naturally associate the grave- 
yard with the church, call the lodge "the Amer- 
ican church," and wonder, first, why it is only open 
at night, and, secondly, why the American ladies 
don't go to it ! 

Several pages of the statute book are filled with 
provisions and laws on the subject of the education 
of children, one section, I remark, making it com- 
pulsory. Nevertheless, whether through my fault or 
not I am unable to say, I have not been able to hear 
of any public schools, as we understand them. Prob- 


ably funds are wanting. Yet there are schools, 
and good ones, at Santa Fe, Mora, Taos, and Albu- 
querque, and probably other places. The large 
school of the Christian Brothers, at Santa Fe, has 
some three hundred pupils, mostly free. The Sisters 
of Loretto (from Kentucky) have a very large board- 
ing and day school, in which about the same number 
of girls are taught. They established their institu- 
tion some fourteen years ago, when four of them 
came on, — or rather started to come, for one died, 
and another fell sick on the route. 

They now have Mexican accessions to their com- 
munity, and count some twenty-four members. The 
perfect order and neatness of the establishment, and 
its beautiful orchard and garden, make it the pleas- 
antest spot in Santa Fe\ The Sisters of Charity — 
four of them from Cincinnati — also have a hos- 
pital, orphan asylum, and free school, and are of the 
same good and devoted class of women so well 
known to the wounded soldier of the Army of the 
Cumberland, and the sick stranger in all our large 
cities. Their hospital here, I am told, is likely to 
be a sinecure. New Mexico is too healthy for its 
success. But the Sisters have their hands full, with 
orphans, aged, infirm, and poor scholars. 

"When we think of those heroic women, taking up 
their line of march like a soldier's forlorn hope, 
crossing the desert, affronting every danger, falling 
in the ranks, or dying at their posts, with no name to 
leave for a bulletin, and all for neither honor, money, 
glory, nor fame, but for the sake of God and suffer- 
ing humanity, I must confess that I, for one, become 
impatient at the exaggerated praise of Florence 



Nightingale. I do not wish to detract one iota from 
her real merit ; but we have, in this country alone, a 
thousand nobler women than Florence Nightingale, 
in their devoted graves, and thousands more follow- 
ing in their path of heavenly charity. 


Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 10, 1866. 

The question is raised, " Were the Pueblos placed 
in villages by the Spaniards, or did the Spaniards 
find them in pueblos (towns) on coming into New 
Mexico ? " 

It appears to me there needs but slight examina- 
tion for one to be satisfied that, on their arrival, the 
Spaniards found these people living in villages, many 
of which still exist. The descriptions given by Al- 
var Nunez, Cabeza de Baca, and by Castaneda, in 
his account of the expedition of Coronado (1538- 
1541), relate clearly to the villages of the Moquis, to 
Zuni, and even to Jemes. 

The people of these pueblos are, doubtless, of the 
old Mexican stock, and the population of old Mex- 
ico, found by Cortez, are described to have been, in 
their main characteristics, essentially the same race. 
A comparison of the accounts given by Cortez with 
those of Baca and Castaneda, appear to establish 
identity of race, religion, and customs, between the 
indigenous population of Old and New Mexico. 
And a similar comparison of the descriptions of 
Baca and Castaneda with what we have before us, 
equally establishes the identity of the. Pueblos they 
found, with those of to-day. The Pueblos then, as 
now, were a distinct people from the wild, roaming 


savages. They lived in villages, cultivated the soil, 
and had trade and manufactures. 

The Navajoes and Apaches of to-day are as easily 
distinguished from the Pueblo as in the time of the 
earliest conquerors of New Mexico. 

Again, we find the village life of the native Mex- 
ican recognized in the earliest Spanish records of the 
conquest; and within four years after the landing 
of Cortez, provision by royal decree made for the 
protection of the system. It is true that the lan- 
guage of the decree gives the impression that the 
Mexicans were then for the first time to be placed in 
pueblos ; but a careful scrutiny of subsequent de- 
crees, and of the accounts left by Cortez, will show 
that they were, in fact, already living in small and 
scattered villages, and that for safety, defense, econ- 
omy of government, and facilities for religious in- 
struction, they were brought into larger communi- 

Passing over the edicts of June 26, 1523, of 1533, 
and of October 26, 1538, here is part of the decree 
of Charles V., issued from Cigales, 21st March, 
1551 : i — 

" The effort has been made with much care and particu- 
lar attention, to make use of such means as are most suita- 
ble for the instruction of the Indians in the Holy Catholic 
faith and scriptural law, to the end that forgetting their 
ancient rites and ceremonies, they might live in fellowship 
under established rule ; and in order that this object might 
be obtained with the greatest certainty, the members of 
our council of the Indios and other religious persons on 
different occasions met together, and in the year 154G, by 
order of the Emperor Charles Fifth, of glorious memory, 

1 Vide La Leg. I., title iii., lib. 6, de la Recopilacion de Indios. 


there convened the prelates of New Spain, who, desiring 
to render service to God and ourselves, resolved that the 
Indians should be brought to settle — reduced to pueblos 
— and that they should not live divided and separated by 
mountains and hills, depriving themselves of all benefit, 
spiritual or temporal, without aid from our agents, and that 
assistance which human wants require men mutually to 
render one another. 

" And in order that the propriety of this resolution 
might be recognized, the kings, judges, presidents, and 
governors, were charged and commanded by different or- 
ders of the Kings, our predecessors, that with much mild- 
ness and moderation they should carry into effect the re- 
duction, settlement, and instruction of the Indians, acting 
with so much justice and delicacy, that without causing 
any difficulty, a motive might be presented to those who 
could not be brought to settle, in the hope that as soon 
as they witness the good treatment and protection of such 
as had been reduced to pueblos, they might consent to of- 
fer themselves of their own accord, and order was given 
that they should not pay higher duties than was established 
by law ; and whereas the above was executed in the large 
part of our Indies, therefore we ordain and command that 
in all the other portions care be taken that it be carried 
into effect, and the agents should urge it according to and 
in the form declared by the laws of this title." 

Philip Second, in consequence of the intention of 
the Emperor Charles, published a statute on the 
founding of settlements, and in articles 34, 35, and 
36, which are found inserted in Leg., title v., lib. 4, 
de la Recopilacion de Indios, he says expressly : — 

" "We ordain that when it is ordained to settle any prov- 
ince or territory of those which are now under our author- 
ity, or may hereafter be discovered, the settler shall take 
care and observe that the country is healthy, ascertaining 


if there may live in it men of great age, and youths of 
good complexion, disposition, and color ; whether the ani- 
mals and flocks are healthy, and of ample size ; the fruits, 
and articles of food, good ; the land suitable for sowing, 
and harvesting abundant ; whether there grow things poi- 
sonous and hurtful ; whether the skies have good and 
happy constellations, clear and benignant ; the air pure 
and soft, without objection or alternation ; the temperature 
free from excess in heat or cold, and, having an inclina- 
tion for one or the other state, selecting the cold ; whether 
there is pasturage for the growth of flocks ; mountains and 
trees for wood ; material for houses and other buildings ; 
and water abundant, and suitable for drinking and irriga- 
tion ; Indians and natives to whom the Gospel may be 
preached, as the chief motive of our intention. 

" Finding a concurrence of these questions or the prin- 
cipal of them, they may proceed to a settlement, observing 
the laws of this book." 

The royal edict of June 4, 1687, recites various 
interesting facts concerning the history and manage- 
ment of the Pueblos. Here is an extract : — 

" Whereas, as in my royal council of the Indios, they 
are advised that the Marquis of Folces, Count of St. 
Stephen's, Viceroy of the Province of New Spain, issued 
an ordinance on May 28, 1567, by which he ordered that 
each of the Indian Pueblos as might need lands upon 
which to live and sow, should have given to them five hun- 
dred varas, and more should it be necessary ; and that 
from that time forward there should not be granted to any 
one lands or grounds unless they should be located a 
thousand varas, cloth or silk measure, away from and sep- 
arated from the pueblos and houses of the Indians, and the 
lands five hundred varas removed from said settlement, 
as is obvious from the evidence of said ordinance which 
has reached the Council — have been contrary to custom, 


order, and practice — have been encroached upon by 
owners of estates and lands, thereby depriving the Indians 
of them, and seizing upon them sometimes violently, some- 
times fraudulently, for which cause the miserable Indians 
have lost their houses and towns, which is what the Span- 
ish seek for and desire ; and obtaining these thousand or 
five hundred varas, which have to be apart from the towns, 
they measure from the church or public house (ermita) 
which the people generally have in the centre of the place, 
and which happens to comprehend in them the whole plat 
of the town, whereby they lose what had been given to 
them, it being necessary to understand the last five hundred 
varas by the four winds, which is arranged and com- 
manded in the Laws XII. and XVIII., title xii., lib. 4, de 
la Neuva Recopilacion de Indios ; and on account of the 
many difficulties, losses, and injuries which thus befell these 
poor natives, it has been thought proper to command that 
such Indian Pueblos as might need lands to live upon and 
cultivate, should have given them not only five hundred 
varas, as the said ordinance provides, but whatever might 
be necessary, measuring them from the farthest limits and 
houses of the place, outwards, by the four winds — thus, 
five hundred varas east, as many west, north, and south, 
leaving always the plat of the pueblos included as vacant 
place, giving these five hundred varas of land not only to 
the chief or capital pueblo, but all the rest that may ask 
for and need them, as well in the pueblos already inhab- 
ited, as those which might hereafter be founded and peo- 
pled ; so that thus all might have land to cultivate, and 
upon which their flocks may graze and feed, it being just 
and of my royal charity to have a regard for the Indians, 
who, I am informed, suffer so much injustice and trouble 
in view of their being those who render more services, and 
enriching my royal crown and all my vassals ; with which 
design, and seeing what in view of them and the said testi- 
mony and Laws XII. and XVIII. of the Neuva Recopila- 
cion de Indios, the acting general of my said council of the 


Indians has said and alleged, I have thought it best to order 
and command, as by these presents I do, that in conformity 
with the ordinances which the Viceroy, Count St. Stephen, 
formed and decreed on the 24th May, 15G7, and the com- 
piled law referred to, that there shall be given and as- 
signed generally to all the Indian pueblos of New Spain 
for their farming lands, not only the five hundred varas 
round the place of settlement, and these measured from 
the church, but from the farthest house of the place, as 
well eastward and westward as north and south ; and not 
only the said five hundred varas, but a hundred varas 
more, up to full six hundred varas ; and should the place 
or settlement be more than ordinarily contracted, and 
should not seem sufficient for all, my Viceroy of New 
Spain, and my royal court of Mexico, shall take care, as I 
now charge and command them to do, to set them apart a 
much larger quantity, and that they shall mark off and as- 
sign to the said place and settlements, as many more varas 
of land as shall be necessary, without limitation. 

" And as regards the pasture land, it is my will and 
order that there shall not only be separated from the set- 
tlement and Indian places, the thousand varas mentioned 
in the said ordinance of May 26, 1567, but even a hundred 
varas more, and that these one thousand one hundred 
varas shall be measured from the last house of the settle- 
ment or place, and not from the church." 


The most acceptable opinion concerning the origin 
and race of the Pueblos is, that they are of the same 
people and stock as the Mexicans found by Cortez. 
Separated from their more favored brethren of the 
Valley of Mexico (who far surpass them in the arts 
of civilization) by two thousand miles of mountains 
and uninhabited regions, they yet evidently were of 


the same origin, religion, and language — left, doubt- 
less, in the Valley of the Rio Grande at the time 
when the forefathers of those who fought Cortez 
were progressing southwardly. As to any discus- 
sion of this question further than to recognize these 
people as descendants of the natives found by the 
Spaniards in possession of the country, I respect- 
fully decline it. 

Learned treatises have been written on the sub- 
ject ; some contending that the Pueblos are of Az- 
tec, others that they are of Toltec origin. 

A decision is not likely to be had soon ; certainly 
not before the settlement of a previous question, — 
" "Were the Tarquins Etruscan or Roman ? " Tar- 
quinius Superbus the Latin is also Mastarna the 
Etruscan. Miiller in his work on the Etruscans 
claims the Tarquinian dynasty to have been Etrus- 
can ; so that it was the Latin subjugated by the 
Etruscan rather than the contrary. But Niebuhr 
maintains that the Tarquins were Latins. 

And the solution of this vexed question, also, 
must, in the order of time, be postponed to the 
claims of another and older historical problem, 
namely, " Who were the Pelasgi ? " The historian 
Grote sums up the inquiry by saying, " If any man 
is inclined to call the unknown ante-Hellenic period 
of Greece by the name of Pelasgic, it is open to him 
to do so." And treating the Pueblo origin question 
after this manner, if any man is inclined to assign 
to the Pueblo an Aztec rather than a Toltec origin, 
or the contrary — it is open to him to do so. 

Here is the substance of their own account of the 
matter, as frequently stated by them to officers of 
our army. According to tradition, they first appeared 


at Shipop. the northwest source of th i Rio Grande. 
Whence they came is not known. They were wander- 
ing without fixed abodes, and sought shelter among 
the canons of the river, in caves which yet remain. 
They sojourned awhile at Acota, the birthplace of 
Montezuma, who became leader and guide of the 
subsequent emigration. He taught them to build 
pueblos with lofty houses and estufas, and to kindle 
sacred fire, to be guarded by priests. This was the 
first pueblo he established, and from here he pro- 
ceeded southward, forming settlements. Acoma was 
built and strongly fortified by him. Pecos was one 
of the principal towns ; and, while there, Montezuma 
took a tall tree and planted it in an inverted position, 
saying that when he should disappear a foreign race 
would rule over his people, and there would be no 
rain. But he commanded them to watch the sacred 
fire until that tree should fall, at which time white 
men would pour into the land from the east, to over- 
throw their oppressors, and he himself would return 
to build up his kingdom; the earth would again be 
fertilized by rain, and the mountains yield treasures 
of silver and gold. 

From Pecos, which, seeming to have fulfilled its 
destiny, is now desolate, Montezuma continued 
southward, spreading pueblos far and wide, till he 
reached the city of Mexico. There, they say, he 
lived till the arrival of the Spaniards, when he dis- 
appeared. " Since then," said the Pueblo narrating, 
becoming excited by his story, " the prediction has 
been verified, and the tree at Pecos fell as the Amer- 
ican army was entering Santa Fe* ! The Indians 
there had long been dwindling away, and soon after, 


an old priest, the last of his tribe, died at his post, 
and the sacred fire was extinguished." * 

The latter part of the tradition is probably the 
foundation of the good-will and respect so con- 
stantly manifested by the Pueblos to Americans, 
departed from only in 1847, at the revolt of Taos, 
organized by the Mexicans, and in which the Pueblos 
near Taos were induced to join. 


Classed by dialects, the Pueblos of New Mexico 
at the period of the arrival of the Spaniards spoke 
four separate and distinct languages, called the 
Tegua, the Piro, the Queres, and the Tagnos. Of 
these the Tegua (pronounced (te-wa) alone is cer- 
tainly known still to exist recognized by its ancient 
name. The Pueblos of San Juan, Santa Clara, 
Nambe, San Ildefonzo, Pojuaque (pronounced poy-a- 
kay), and Tesuque speak this dialect, and call it the 
Tegua. The Tagnos have become extinct, and the 
Piro and Queres, if they still exist, are no longer 
known by the people under those names. In all, 
there are now five different dialects spoken by the 
Pueblos. I could not hear of a Mexican or Amer- 
ican who understands any of them ; nor can any 
Pueblo understand another of a different dialect. 
Classing the villages by language, we have, — 

First, Sandia, Isleta, Picuris, and Taos. 

Second, Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, 
Santa Alia, Zia, Laguna, and Acoma. 

Third) Jemes (pronounced Haymes). 

Fourth^ Zuni. 

1 See " Report on the Indian Tribes," Pacific R. R. Report, vol. 3, p. 5. 


Fifths those already mentioned as speaking the 

Thus, by language, these Indians are nearly all 
cut off from verbal communication, not only with 
Mexicans, but with Pueblos of a different dialect. 

Some of their people speak Spanish, and that lan- 
guage has to be used by them in communicating with 
other Pueblos of a different native tongue. It does 
not follow that the groups by dialect correspond 
with their geographical grouping ; for, frequently, 
those furthest apart speak the same, and those nearest 
speak different languages. Thus, Taos and Sandia 
speak the same, and Tesuque, nearly half-way be- 
tween them in the Rio Grande Valley, a different 
one. When the remnants of the Pueblos on the 
Pecos were obliged to leave its ruins, they passed 
through many intervening villages of their nation to 
join those at Jemes who spoke the same tongue. 

In order to give some idea of the utter diversity 
of these Indian Pueblo dialects, I select a few words 
from the vocabulary prepared by Cruzate 1 (1692), 
and by Lieutenant Simpson, U. S. A. 

l Don Domingo de Cruzate, Governor of New Mexico from 1684 to 1692. 









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The Pueblo manner of building is very peculiar, 
and the fact that the houses (of one of the primitive 
races) still existing in parts of Old Mexico — those 
described by Castaneda and Cabeza de Baca, and 
those now found in the Pueblo villages of New- 
Mexico — are of perfectly similar construction and 
distribution, goes far to fix the identity of the Pueblo 
people with a primitive Mexican race. 

On my visit to the pueblo of Tesuque we entered 
a large square, around which the dwellings are erected 
close together, so as to present outwardly an unbroken 
line of wall to the height of three stories.- Viewed 
from the inner square it presents the appearance of 
a succession of terraces with doors and windows 
opening upon them. Asking to see the cazique, we 
were directed to mount a ladder some ten feet in 
height. This brought us on to a terrace about six 
feet wide, extending around three sides of the square, 
and forming the roof of a series of rooms on the 
ground floor, which being without doors, could only 
be entered by descending through a trap-door. The 
second story recedes from the first by the breadth of 
the terrace described, and, in like manner, can only 
be entered by mounting another ladder. So also for 
the third story. All the stories have doors and win- 
dows, but no stair-way. The ladders being drawn 
up at night, the place is comparatively safe from as- 
sault or intrusion. 

This general description is applicable to all the 
Pueblo villages, however they may differ in size, 
position, and nature of the ground — some being on 


bluffs, some on mesas, and most of those in the val- 
ley of the Rio Grande on level ground. 

Parts of Old Mexico five hundred to a thousand 
miles distant from the New Mexican pueblos, are 
covered with the ruins of villages built in the same 
manner precisely, and Clavigero, in his history of 
Mexico, referring to the extensive ruin on the San 
Miguel River in Chihuahua known as the " Casas 
Grandes," says : " The building, according to pop- 
ular tradition, was erected by the Mexicans in their 
peregrination, and consisted of three (3) floors with 
a terrace above them, and without any entrance to 
the lower floor. The door for entrance into the build- 
ing is on the second floor, so that a scaling-ladder is 


Time, decay, and want of proper care, are rap- 
idly carrying off forever many documents of great 
importance — sole survivors of many more — yet 
remaining in the archives (?) of Santa Fe. Papers 
of value known to have existed there some years 
since have disappeared, many others are in a perish- 
ing condition, and it is said that in 1846 Armijo 
used up a large quantity of them for cartridges. 
Among these documents the statistical are particu- 
larly numerous and satisfactory. Under the Spanish 
governments the whole military, civil, and ecclesi- 
astical administration was admirably carried out, 
and the official reports are models of completeness 
and brevity. I have made or obtained copies or 
translations of a number, and from among them 
select a few of the most important illustrating the 
history of the Pueblos. Two reports made in 1796 



and 1798 by the missionaries, in the original Span- 
ish, are valuable, as showing the entire population 
of New Mexico, as classified by Missions. The 
following are correct copies from the original docu- 
ments : — 






Pecos . . 
Tesuque . . 
Nambe . . 
Pusuaque . 
St. Ildefonso 
Santa Clara . 
Villa de la Canada 
Abiquin . . 
8.-m Juan 
Picuries . . 
Taos . . . 

Totales en 1798 
Existian en 1796 






: 0330 



09 12640 

Espanoles y 


Gente de otras 










S M, 



<• tx 



- 0070 0083 0189 
0330 0074 0081 0155 
0830 iiooT 0081 0178 

- ool", 0034 0079 
o33o 0144 olo7 0251 
0330 0098 0095 0193 

0330 ' 0090 | 0086' 0170 
0330 0090 0112 0202 
0330 0127,0124 0251 
0330 1203 0208 0531 

0072 oo7s O15o,oo3o9 
0079 ooi'.O 0148 00303 
0011 P009 0020 00138 

oill oils 0229,00:508 
0116 0109 0225,00476 

0425 0419 1840 
13(3 1251 2694 

0783 i 0790 1573 



1098 1077 2175,4580 
1083 1006 2089 4491 

15 71 86] 139 

0939 1971 

0800 0503 

0393 0789 

4521 9101 11276 
4233 8734 10823 



367 483 

Por la demostraeion anteeedente se acredita que huvo de augmeuto en los Indios 
de estos Misiones Si; pers>mas, y en los Espnrioles y gente de otras clases 367 que 
pinta una partida con otra resultan 453 almas mas en el total. 

En los dos anos se verificaron en las referidas misiones 48 casamientos de Indios, 
H bautizaron 180, y murieron 129. 

Ashmsmo en los Espaiioles, y gente de otras clases huvo 120 matrimonias, se bau- 
tizaron 748, y murieron 324. 










Santo Domingo 

Cochiti . . 

San Phelipe 


Zia . 




Zuni . 

Belen . 


Villa de Albuquerque 


Totales en 179 
Existian en 17 




033' t 



Eh 3c 

0330 0252 
0330 J0172 


0330 0139 
0330 0409 

0450 1346 
0165 0055 
0330; 0241 


ivspuuolas y 
Gente Ul- otras 




0330 012010116 

1483 0121 

0505 0206 
0282 0217 
0634 0044 
0262 - 
0272 0179 
0802 0010 
0757 - 
0124 0574 ! 0709 
0479 0220 0238 
- 1195.1084 
0236 020610178 

m u 









2595 3735 3822,7557 2975 2955 5930 13847 
- ,3639,3725,7364 2789,2644,5433 12797 


97 1 193 186, 311 497 1050 

Por la demostracion anteeedente se acredita que huvo de augmento en los Indios 
de estos Misiones 193 personas, y en los Espanoles y gente de otras clases 497 que 
pinta una partida con otra resultan 690 almas en el total. 

En los dos anos se verificaron en las referidas Misiones 122 casamientos de Indios, 
se bautizaron 525, y murieron 340. 

Asimismo en los Espanoles, y gente de otras clases huvo 106 matrimonias, se 
bautizaron 535, y murieron 198. 



Here is a very interesting report made by Gov- 
ernor Chacon in 1799. His reasons in the ninth 
section for supposing that the Pueblo idioms do not 
differ much are not satisfactory. Indians, Pueblos, 




Mexicans, and Americans, frequently intertrade in 
total ignorance of each other's language. For that 
purpose merely a few signs and isolated words are 


NO. 325. 



Names of tiie Jurisdictions 

City of Santa Fe, Royal Garrison, and 

City of La Canada and vicinity . . . 

City of Alburquerque and vicinity . . 

Jurisdiction of La Alameda 

Jurisdiction of Jemes 

Jurisdiction of San Geronimo de Taos . 

Jurisdiction of Laguna and Acoma . . 

Jurisdiction of ZuSi 

Pueblo of El Paso del R. del N. and vi- 





__ 3 



































8 30 














5! 12 








3 4 










1 .574 


Total Indians, 10,369. 

23,769 Spaniards, etc. 



3 a . With exception of the three cities, which are Albur- 
querque and Canada and the capital, and the pueblo of 
El Paso, all the Missions are endowed with three hundred 
and thirty dollars annually, which are satisfied out of the 
royal treasury ; the only variation is that of Zuiii, which 
being situated afar off is granted four hundred and fifty 


4 a 

5 a 

7 a . The spiritual administration so far as relates to the 
Indians is in full decadence, there being very few who con- 
fess, except it be at the hour of death and through an in- 
terpreter. They are viewed with little care and affection 
on the part of the religious and missionaries ever since 
corporal punishment at will was prohibited and the cus- 
tom of serving them. 

8\ To every Indian pueblo is assigned one league of 
land, although at some missions much more is enjoyed. In 
these are planted wheat, corn, and all kinds of vegetables, — 
keeping up the precaution of reserving two or three har- 
vests in view of the calamities which may come upon them. 

But they do not know the use of money because it cir- 
culates but very little in the province. In some pueblos 
blankets of wool and cotton are manufactured with which 
the women are clothed. As a general thing they own 
many flocks both horned and woolen, with sufficient number 
of horses, which is more or less increased as they are at- 
tacked by the enemy. 

9 a The Pueblo Indians are of various races or stocks and 
are distinguished as Queres, Teguas, Tanos, Taos, Pecos, 
and Genizaros. . . . Their idioms although distinct do 
not differ much, as they trade one with another without 
much difficulty. The Spanish language all understand, 
but few determine to speak it, it is not known whether 
from dullness or soberness. 

10 a . Since the year of '98 seven settlements of families 
(from forty, sixty, and eighty families) according to the 
extent of territory and water. 

God keep you, &c. 
To His Excellency Pedro de Vava. 

Santa Fe, 18th July, 1799. Fernando Chacon. 

Fernando Chacon was civil and military governor of 
New Mexico in 1799 and until 1805, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Joaquin del Real Alencaster. 




















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Following closely in the order of time we have 
the Duke of Alencaster's report, which includes the 
entire population of New Mexico (see preceding 

As Lieutenant Whipple's Indian Report (see part 
3, pp. 10 and 12, vol. iii. Pacific R. R. Surveys, 35th 
parallel) gives Cuyamangue and Chilili in the list of 
pueblos, and Alencaster's report just cited does not 
include them, it may be as well to clear up the con- 
tradiction. A deed of 1704 (see No. 733, Archive 
Catalogue of the Surveyor- General of New Mexico 
1857-8) thus speaks of one of these towns : " Cuy- 
amangue, a pueblo abandoned and in ruins since 
the insurrection in 1696 by the native Tegua Indians 
of said pueblo." A Mexican town of that name is 
given in the census return of 1844, and has evi- 
dently been mistaken for a Pueblo village. 

As to Chilili, it has not been known since 1696, 
not even as a town built on the site of a pueblo. 
Here is an official list of pueblos by Governor and 
Captain-General Mendoza — the results of his visit 
to the pueblo in May, 1742. 

Taos, Picuries, San Juan, San Udefonso, Santa 
Clara, Pojuaque, Nambe, and Tesuque, north of 
Santa Fe ; Pecos, east, and Galasteo south of Santa 
Fe ; Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Santa 
Ana, Zia, Jemes, Laguna, Acoma, Zuni, Isleta, south 
or west of Santa Fe. 

Neither Cuyamangue nor Chilili appear in it. 
Galasteo is given by Mendoza in 1742 but not by 
Alencaster in 1805, for the reason that it had been 
abandoned in the interval, the survivors intermarry- 
ing and settling with the Pueblos of San Domingo. 
On the other hand Alencaster enumerates Sandia, 


which is not given by Mendoza. The reason is that 
Sandia was founded in 1748, under very peculiar 
circumstances, a full account of which has fortu- 
nately been preserved. The report is interesting as 
throwing much light upon the government and man- 
agement of the Pueblos by the Spaniards, and I give 
it entire in the excellent translation of Mr. D. S. 
Miller of Santa F6 : — 


Petition of Friar Juan Miguel Menchero, Preacher and Delegate 
Commissary- General, for the establishment of the Pueblo of 
Sandia. 1748. 

To His Excellency Don Joachim Codallos y Rabal : — 

Friar Juan Miguel Menchero, Preacher and Delegate 
Commissary-General, by patent from my diocese, present 
myself before your Excellency according to law, and in the 
manner most convenient to me in the present petition, and 
state : That for six years I have been engaged in the 
work of converting the Gentiles, and notwithstanding in- 
numerable trials I have succeeded in planting the seeds of 
the Christian faith among the residents of the pueblos of 
Acoma, Laguna, and Zia ; and for all of which I hold in- 
structions from the most excellent Viceroy of New Spain, 
to construct temples, convents, and pueblos, with sufficient 
lands for each, water, watering places, timber, and pastures, 
which I have obtained for all of those whom I have been 
enabled to convert. And having converted and gained 
over three hundred and fifty souls from here to the Puerco 
River, which I have brought from the Moqui Pueblos — 
bringing with me the cacique of these Moqui Pueblos, for 
the purpose of establishing their pueblo at the place called 
Sandia. Having received the permission of the most ex- 
cellent Viceroy, which order is on file in that govern- 
ment, I therefore ask that possession be given me of the 


aforementioned place of Sandia, which I have already ex- 
amined and found unoccupied, so as to prevent my converts 
from returning to apostasy, as by locating them at any 
other point they may escape to their former homes, being 
the most remote. By doing which I wall receive the grace, 
favor, justice, I ask at the hands of your Excellency. I 
swear that the above is not done through malice, and in 
whatever may be necessary, etc. 

(Signed) Friar Juan Miguel Menchero, 

• Delegate, and Missionary and Commissary- General. 

Santa Fe of the New Mexico, April 5th, 1748. 

In the city of Santa Fe on the fifth day of April, 1748, 
before me, Don Joachim Codallos y Rabal, Sergeant-Major, 
Governor and Captain-General of this kingdom, the fore- 
going petition was presented, accompanied with the supe- 
rior disposition of the most excellent Viceroy of this New 
Spain, by the Most Reverend Friar Juan Miguel Mench- 
ero, retired Preacher-General, Delegate Commissary, and 
Attorney-General of this Holy Custody of the Conversion 
of Saint Paul, etc. ; which being seen by me, and the plans 
proposed by the said Reverend Father for the construc- 
tion of the temple, convent, and pueblo referred to by him, 
and the conveniences which are offered to the Moqui In- 
dians reduced to the locality and site called Sandia being 
known to me, which pueblo shall be partly fortified in 
order to prevent the invasions which are occasionally made 
by the Gentile enemies, whose place of entrance is at the 
aforementioned spot : in view of which, and having re- 
ceived certain information concerning said conquered 
Indians which are distributed among several pueblos of 
this kingdom asking that a pueblo may be established for 
them, in which the aforementioned Moqui nation may con- 
struct their houses and form a settlement : 

Therefore, and in order that the foregoing decree of the 
most excellent Viceroy and the petition of the aforesaid 
Very Reverend Father Delegate Commissary may be car- 


ried into effect, I hereby give such ample and sufficient 
authority as is required in such cases to the Lieutenant- 
General Don Bernardo de Bustamente to proceed to the 
aforementioned site of Sandia with ten soldiers, and with 
the cooperation of the aforesaid Very Reverend Father 
Delegate Commissary, to personally examine, calculate, and 
reconnoitre the aforesaid site, and distribute the lands, 
waters, pastures, and watering places, sufficient for a regu- 
lar Indian pueblo as required by the royal orders concern- 
ing the matter, setting forth the boundaries thereof. And 
the aforesaid Lieutenant-General shall also proceed to give 
authentic, royal, and personal possession to the Very Rev- 
erend Father Missionary who may be assigned by his prel- 
ate to the new Mission — having given the lands to the 
conquered Indians of the aforesaid nation as aforemen- 
tioned. In case any dispute or objection is raised by any 
person or persons claiming title to said lands, he will re- 
port the same to this government in order that such legal 
steps may be taken in the premises as is necessary. And 
having recorded his doings in the premises immediately 
following this decree, the aforesaid Lieutenant-General 
will take a correct copy thereof, which he will deliver to 
the aforesaid Very Reverend Delegate Commissary — re- 
turning the original to this government, in order that it 
may always appear. Furthermore, it being necessary to 
appoint a judge to administer justice in said settlement, to 
protect the Indians, hearing their cases, and give them 
such legal remedies as they may require : I hereby declare 
said pueblo of Sandia for the present to be under the ju- 
risdiction of the town of San Felipe de Alburquerque in 
order that the lieutenant thereof or his lieutenant shall 
strictly comply with the duties herein imposed ; and the 
Senior Justices will cause the conquered Moqui Indians, 
who may be within their respective jurisdictions, to attach 
themselves with all possible dispatch to the aforesaid pueblo 
of Sandia to be established, the construction of which will 


be commenced during the early part of May, of the present 
year 1748. 

I have so provided, ordered, and signed with my attend- 
ing witnesses, with whom I act in the absence of a public 
or royal notary — there being none in this kingdom. To 
which I certify. 

(Signed) Joachim Codallos y Rabal. 

Witnesses: (Jose Jacobo de Boanas, 
(Signed) 1 Miguel Alike. 

I, the Lieutenant-General Don Bernardo de Bustamente 
Tagle, commissioned to give the royal possession granted 
and conferred by the Sergeant-Major Don Joachim Codal- 
los y Rabal, Governor and Captain-General of this king- 
dom of New Mexico, in order to give possession to the 
Reverend Father Preacher Friar Juan Jose Hernandez, 
the minister assigned by patent of his reverend prelate, 
and to the Indians of the Moqui nation, who are assembled 
for the purpose of reestablishing said pueblo, and for the 
better security and advancement of the same, I caused to 
appear before me the citizens who resided near or more 
contiguous to said pueblo on the other side of the Rio 
Del Norte towards the west, to wit : Antonio de Salazas, 
Jose Jaramillo, and Salvador Jaramillo, to whom, being in 
my presence, I made known the commission I held to 
grant the royal possession which I am directed to give to 
the aforesaid children of Sandia and their minister, and 
making them also understand that they were exonerated 
from giving the league to the said Indians on the west ac- 
cording to the royal mandate, which provides for one 
league toward each of the four cardinal points, which will 
be increased in another direction ; but that they were to 
consent that at all times the aforesaid Moqui Indians of 
this new resettlement (on account of the many risks their 
stock was subjected to on this side) could cross over and 
pasture on the lands of their aforesaid Spanish neighbors, 
whom before witnesses of unexceptionable veracity I asked 


and notified for once, and oftener, if they would consent 
or not, and they consented to the request of the afore- 
said Indians and their Father Missionary. Whereupon 
they jointly and severally in solidum would and did give 
free and ample permission, now and forever, to cross over 
and pasture their stock, binding and obliging themselves, 
their children, heirs, and successors, not to oppose any im- 
pediment whatsoever ; on the contrary they urge the afore- 
said Indians to do so without fear of causing damage. 
They so promised and stated that they would fulfill their 
promise without dispute or legal proceeding now or in the 

And in testimony whereof they signed their names and 
for those who could not sign, I signed as acting justice in 
the absence of a royal or public notary, there being none 
in this kingdom. To which I certify. 

(Signed) Barnardo Antonio Bustamente Tagle, 

Acting Justice. 

Witness : f Isidro Sanchez Tagle, 
(Signed) ■< Pedro Tafoya, 
( Jose Jaramillo. 


At the aforesaid place and mission on the said day, 
month, and year as directed, I, the Lieutenant-General 
Don Bernardo Antonio de Bustamente Tagle, proceeded 
to give royal and personal possession, accompanied by all 
the neighbors, and the first act being to give a name and 
vocation to the said new reduction, in order to perpetuate 
its memory, giving it the name of " Our Lady of Sorrow 
and Saint Anthony of Sandia," and being thus named the 
recently converted Indians of said nation being all together 
with their minister the Reverend Father Friar Juan Jose 
Hernandez, whom I took by the hand, and in the name 
of His Majesty (whom may God preserve !) walked with 
him over the ground, they cried aloud, threw stones, 
pulled up weeds, and in a loud voice exclaimed " Long live 


the King our Sovereign ! " several times ; they received 
the royal possession without any contradiction whatever. 
The leagues granted to a formal pueblo were measured, 
and the lines being drawn toward the west to the Del 
Norte River, which is the boundary, there were only two 
lines of fifty and twenty Castilian varas each, amounting in 
all to two hundred and forty varas ; and in order to com- 
plete what was lacking on the western side, I thought it 
necessary to add as increase the leagues toward the north 
and south equally, in order that the adjoining Spanish 
grantees should not be damaged ; said two boundaries 
amounting to 7380 Castilian varas, the league toward the 
west being 4760 varas less. The land between, within the 
said two boundaries, being all adapted to the raising of 
wheat, and the water being convenient to the surface of 
the ground. And in order to perpetuate their boundaries 
I directed them to establish landmarks or mounds of mud 
and stones, of the height of a man, with wooden crosses on 
their summits. The boundaries being : on the north, an 
old tower opposite the point of a canon commonly called 
" De la Agua," and on the south the Maygua hill, opposite 
the spring of the Carrisito, and on the east the main ridge 
called Sandia, within which limits there are convenient 
pastures, timber, water, and watering places, to support 
large and small cattle and horses. All of which was given 
with free and general control to the aforesaid Moqui In- 
dian converts, who are congregated together as aforesaid, 
that they may enjoy it, themselves, their children, heirs, 
and successors. And those that were present amounted 
to three hundred and fifty souls, great and small, compris- 
ing seventy families, who being all together, I granted and 
published ; and they heard the royal possession given in 
the name of His Majesty, whom God jjreserve, which is 
a sufficient title for them, now and forever, to prevent in- 
terference at any time and against any person or persons 
who may trespass within the boundaries set forth of which 
they are in possession. 


And in order that it may always so appear, I placed the 
same on record. Corporal Antonio Armenta and Juan 
Simon being instrumental witnesses, I signed with my at- 
tending witnesses, with whom I act as acting judge in the 
absence of a royal or public notary, there being none in 
this kingdom within the limits prescribed by law — giv- 
ing of these one to my Reverend Father Minister for the 
pious purposes designed by the most excellent Viceroy, 
and the merits of his ministry and Christian charity, and 
the other to remain in the hands of the Reverend Father 
Minister Friar Jose Hernandez, and with the other report 
to the government on the day, month, and year aforesaid. 

(Signed) Bernardo Ant Bustamente Tagle, 

Acting Justice. 

_. ) Pedro Tafoza. 

Witnesses : > v „ c ™ 

) xsidro Sanchez Tagle. 

May 2Wi, 1762. An order was issued by the Governor 
and Captain- General of New Mexico, commanding that 
two days in the week be set apart for the manufacture 
of adobes and to cut the necessary timber for the com- 
pletion of their houses. No Indian being allowed to leave 
the pueblo, except to guard the stock or for the cultivation 
of the soil, until the pueblo is constructed and built under 
the direction of the Reverend Father Missionary. 

Like Cuyamangue, there are many pueblos depop- 
ulated and abandoned since 1696. On Galasteo 
Creek alone are found the sites of San Cristobel, 
San Lazaro, Galasteo, and San Marcos. This last 
however (so tradition runs) was in ruins when the 
Spaniards first came to the country ; and its survi- 
vors are said to have gone to San Juan. They are 
the ruins of which I spoke in my letter of Au- 
gust 2d. 

The following table, prepared with great care from 


the most reliable sources of information, presents a 
full and complete list of the existing pueblos of New- 
Mexico, and a statistical statement of their popula- 
tion, possessions, resources, etc., etc. I have specially 
availed myself, in its compilation, of the reporls of 
the Surveyor-General, and of the valuable reports of 
Mr. Steck, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1864. 
Excepting the designated census for 1860, all the 
other extracts are for 1863. Besides animals enumer- 
ated, the Pueblos own large numbers of sheep, goats, 
and pigs. In all the pueblos there were thirty-nine 
deaf, seven deaf and dumb, three idiots and insane, 
four lunatics, and forty-three blind. Area of last 
four pueblos not given, as they have not yet been 
surveyed. Total number of deaths one hundred 
and eighty. Total number of births tvvo hundred and 
forty-nine. Where date of grant is not given, it is 
because those pueblos could not produce their origi- 
nal titles. In such cases the evidence of the princi- 
pal men of the pueblo was taken to establish the 
former existence of titles, before surveying the tract. 
I am satisfied that the increase of population in- 
dicated by above figures of 1860 and 1863, is not 
real, and arises, probably, from a defective census of 
1860. Those who are best acquainted with the 
Pueblos, are convinced that they are steadily falling 
off in numbers. They do not marry with Mexicans, 
nor out of their tribe, and, too often, not outside 
their own pueblo. In fact intermarriage of relatives 
is common among them. 



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•a-*r-iiMi-icorooci5i-ic<it— . .<-> 






Each pueblo has a separate and independent or- 
ganization of its own. Their officers are a Cazique 
or Governor Alcalde, War Captain, and Fiscal Major. 
These officers are elected, and the Cazique, on elec- 
tion, always presents himself to the Indian Agent at 
Santa Fe for confirmation in office. 

The Alcalde answers to our Justice of the Peace, 
save that his decision is without appeal. All the 
Pueblo disputes are settled within their own villages, 
without any recourse to our tribunals. The Fiscal is 
constable. The War Captain, as his name imports, 
is of but little importance in peace, except that he 
has charge of the caballada (horse herd). It is said 
that there is no instance of a Pueblo being indicted 
for theft or other kindred crime, since the formation 
of the territory. Nevertheless, these people are by 
no means immaculate or impeccable. No notice is 
taken by the local authorities of their conduct within 
their pueblo, unless it infringes public law. There 
they have their own administration of justice, and, I 
am reliably advised, severe punishments are freely 
administered, extending sometimes to the taking of 
life. A remarkable instance of this occurred at the 
pueblo of Nambe, but a few miles from Santa Fe", 
in 1854. Two of the Pueblo Indians there were ac- 
cused, or suspected of witchcraft, and, without the 
slightest examination or trial or even an intima- 
tion to them that they were suspected, were put to 
death summarily on a simple verbal order of the head 
officer, who boldly came into court afterward and 
admitted, without any hesitation, that he had given 
the order for their execution. Here is a short ab- 
stract of his testimony and of the case : — 


At the March term, 1864, of the United States 
District Court for the County of Santa Fe, four 
Pueblo Indians — Mirabul, Trujillo, and the two 
Tapolla — were indicted for the crime of having 
murdered two brother Pueblos — Luis Romero and 
Antonio Tapolla. 

First witness was Juan Ignacio Tapolla — sworn — I 
live in Nambe ; I knew Luis Romero and Antonio Ta- 
polla ; they lived in Nambe ; they are now both dead. The 
four prisoners came and reported to me that they had killed 
Romero and Tapolla in accordance with the order of the 
pueblo. It was in the beginning of this month ; they only 
said they had killed them ; did not see them after they 
were killed ; they were killed at twilight, about a league 
from the pueblo ; I saw them going out with deceased ; 
they had a shot-gun, which Diego Tapolla carried ; they 
came back to report to me very soon. Romero and Anto- 
nio did not return with them ; they went out walking in 
front, and were loose ; they were killed by order of the 
pueblo — that is, the head men of the pueblo — because 
the two deceased had done great wrong to the pueblo. I 
am the Governor of the pueblo and Juan Diego is the 
fiscal (constable) of it ; it was Diego's duty to execute the 
order of the pueblo ; they commanded him to kill these 
two men. The bad acts spoken of were, that they were 
detected in the act of witchcraft. The deceased confessed 
that they had been guilty of witchcraft and sorcery ; they 
had eaten up the little children of the pueblo. It has al- 
ways been our custom to put a stop to and check bad acts ; 
we have not exercised this custom of killing witches since 
the Americans came here, because there had not been such 
bad doings before. We have always governed ourselves as 
an independent community, and Governor Calhoun said as 
we were poor and ignorant, and could not serve as jurors, 
we might govern ourselves. I am Governor, and by un- 
order, and with the consent of all the principal men of the 


pueblo, the two men were put to death — they were killed 
on my command." 

A question was raised as to the locus in quo 
Nambe being in Rio Arriba, and the prisoners 
placed on trial in Santa Fe County. They were 
finally discharged. 


The results of the impression made upon the 
Pueblo Indians by the early Spanish missionaries 
are quite marked, but sadly damaged and disfigured 
by the neglect of the Mexican government and 
priesthood and the almost total absence of mission- 
aries for many years. Nevertheless, every village 
has its Catholic church. Some of them are very 

The Cacique at Tesuque pointed out to me with 
great pride the date (1745) of a roughly painted al- 
tar-piece in the church of that pueblo. The lead- 
ing Christian holidays are generally observed, and 
the feast-day of the patron saint of the pueblo is al- 
ways celebrated with great ceremony and unstinted 
hospitality. They show great respect for the clergy, 
and at stated periods assist at the celebration of 
mass with profound attention and apparent edifica- 
tion. During divine service the children generally 
chant the principal tenets of Christian doctrine, ver- 
sified and set to music. This is all the teaching the 
Pueblos will allow their children to receive, it being 
wrong, they say, that a child should know more than 
its father. 1 Nevertheless I am assured by several of 

1 The reader will doubtless be surprised at the small number (see tabu- 
lar statement, page 222) of those who are able to read and write. Small as 
it is, it rapidly decreases. Under the old Spanish government great atten- 
tion was paid to the education of these people. Even under Mexican rule 


the clergy with whom I conversed that their Catho- 
licity is little more than external, and that they are 
more than suspected of clinging to and practicing 
many of their ancient heathen rites. 

The Estufa is frequently spoken of as their hea- 
then temple. They may possibly celebrate religious 
rites there, but it is mainly used for the councils and 
deliberations of the " wise men " and chiefs of the 
tribe. The sacred fire kept burning was peculiar to 
Pecos alone, and even there was not worshiped. It 
is more than doubtful that the Montezuma we know 
of is the one referred to by them, and altogether 
probable that the original nation from which these 
Pueblos are descended once had a mighty chief and 
leader, whose virtues and prowess grew with tradi- 
tion and to whom they have given the name of 
Montezuma, perhaps never heard of by them until 
they learned it from the Spanish missionaries. Peo- 
ple relate that they look for the coming of Monte- 
zuma as the Jews do for the Messiah ; and it is said 
that at several of their villages, every morning at 
sunrise, a sentinel climbs the highest building and 
looks eastward to wait for his coming. 

All who choose may believe these stories. These 
Pueblo Indians have among them documents that 
are apparently legends of the conquest of Mexico, 
to which they attach great importance. In March 
18G2, with infinite difficulty and under the most sol- 
emn injunctions of secrecy, Major Greiner, then 
Indian Agent, managed to obtain possession of one 

far more care was bestowed upon them, in this regard, than by our own 
government. And it is to be regretted that a few of the many thousand 
dollars that are worse than wasted in presents to wild Indian tribes, could 
not be better bestowed in fostering schools among these docile people. 
Such a BYStem would certainly yield the most satisfactory results. 


of these writings in the estufa itself (at the pueblo 
of San Juan, 40 miles from Santa Fe) long enough 
to make translation of a part of it. Here it is. I 
am indebted for a copy to Theodore Greiner, Esq., 
of Santa Fe : — 

Pueblo Indians. 

translation of a document found in the pueblo 
of san juan. 

" ' They will respect and obey me in whatever I will com- 
mand, there being nothing in my order against you. I 
will treat all with much leniency, without prejudice to any. 
I will teach them the law of Jesus Christ, God of Heaven, 
him unto whom all should render and give infinite thanks 
for the benefaction they are about to receive from the Chil- 
dren of the Sun ; that they should ever come to receive 
cheerfully the waters of baptism, and to which should re- 
spond all the Indians who hold good faith and disposition 
to follow the Christian faith.' 

" From this issued much pleasure and delight among all 
the people ; dances taking place in which there was shown 
no rancor or complaint against the Children of the Sun. 
And seeing this, the King Montezuma, who had manifested 
as much joy, said to the great Cortez, that as his children 
had had so much joy in being transferred to his (Cortez,) 
control, he charged him that he would look upon them and 
would treat them with much leniency, and would teach 
them to worship the most true God, to which Cortez an- 
swered him that he thus would act ; for which purpose 
they both signed it in Mexico the same date. 

" After this being signed, Montezuma commanded all the 
Indians to present homages (render tribute) to the great 
Cortez, which the Indians fulfilled, running to their places 
of habitation, some to bring jars of gold, others pieces of 
silver, others pointing out the very rich mines they had of 
gold and silver. 


The young Indians presented their baskets of fruit ancf 
eatables for all the Children of the Sun. This current of 
feeling and action reached all the Indians. In all the pueb- 
los they came to visit, nothing was hidden. And the great 
Cortez regaled them with all that was brought, for which 
reason there was much joy, that he saw for himself that in 
being subdued they had not felt nor held complaint, and 
that they were rather pleased with the Children of the Sun 
on being acquainted. Montezuma and the great Cortez 
returning to confer, Montezuma asked of the latter that he 
would tell him how he knew of this kingdom, as that was 
what he wished him to make manifest. 

" The great Cortez said : ' Great monarch, I will tell 
you how I came to know of the discovery of this great 
kingdom. There was a little school-girl named Maria 
Agueda de Jesus in the convent, who was absent from 
school for two hours. Upon the mistress going to punish 
her this said child said, that if she would not punish her 
she would tell the truth of where she had been. Then the 
mistress — " Well, tell me where you have been ? " Then 
she said to the mistress — " In that moment much water 
appeared which I saw, and I went through it until I was 
able to step upon the other side, where there was a great 
kingdom in which were many Indian dances ; and I saw a 
great King who had an imperial crown of gold upon his 
head all emplumed." 

" ' Whereupon the mistress went and related this to the 
King of Spain ; and as this King now had notices of the 
King of Indians but did not know where he was to be 
found until this little girl discovered it, the King ordered 
that she (the little child) should take three days' time to 
arrive and bring with her the plumes of that King's crown 
for certain. The child came, and the King being about 
to go forth to dance, as soon as he took off the crown the 
girl took the plumes and went and presented them to the 
King of Spain. 

" ' As soon as the King took hold of the plumes in his 


hand he said, u Eagle's plumes the King of the Indians 
wears ; make diligence to know where he is that I may 
engage to conquer him." Thus was it, great monarch, that 
your kingdom was made known ; now I also wish you to 
answer me, concerning how many provinces has New 
Mexico, and mines of gold and silver ? ' The monarch said, 
' I will respond to you forever as you have to me. I com- 
mand this province, which is the first of New Mexico — the 
pueblo of Teguayo, which governs one hundred and two 
pueblos. In this pueblo there is a great mine near by in 
which they cut with stone hatchets the gold of my crown. 
The great province Zuni, where was born the great Ma- 
linche. This pueblo is very large, increasing in Indians of 
light complexion who are governed well. In this province 
is a silver mine and this capital controls eighteen pueblos. 
The province of Moqui. The province of the Navajoes. 
The great province of the Grand Quivira that governs the 
pueblos of the Queres and the Tunos. These provinces 
have different tongues which only La Malinche understands. 
The province of Acoma, in which there is a blackish-colored 
hill, in which there is found a silver mine.' Seeing this the 
great monarch sent Malinche to these provinces of New 
Mexico to the new conquests. And La Malinche conquered 
and took possession of the part in which were all in the 
best disposition to comply with the orders of the great mon- 
arch, for where he commanded it the Spaniards entered to 
locate their missions." 


These people till the ground, construct and man- 
age acequias for irrigation, and gather their crops 
with quite as much intelligence as their Mexican 
neighbors, and with more order and industry. They 
always have a reserved year's crop in granary for any 
contingency. They raise all the vegetables and 
fruits known in the country, and, where the climate 


admits, have flourishing and abundant vineyards. 
On my way to Albuquerque I was fortunate enough 
to witness a general harvesting in the wheat fields 
of one of the pueblos. 

Just below the pueblo of San Felipe, an unusually 
numerous group of Indians (Pueblos) some distance 
across the fields from the rear of our column, at- 
tracted my attention, and I went over to them. 
Some forty or fifty men, women, and children, were 
gathering, thrashing, winnowing, and cleaning the 
wheat just cut in the field where they stood. A 
smooth piece of ground, surrounded by a circle of 
small trees, some seven feet apart, with strips of thong 
all around, made the thrashing-floor. Five horses 
driven in, and kept moving in a ring by the cries and 
whooping of two young Pueblos, constituted the 
thrashing-machine. Their work finished, the girls 
and women went in with flat, half bowl-like baskets, 
tossing the grain up into the air to clear it of straw 
and chaff. Every thing was done by hand, and the 
wheat winnowed again and again, the forms of the 
Indian girls bending gracefully to the work. 

The grain that had been gleaned after the reapers 
had done their work was brought in separately, tied 
up neatly in little bundles of some thirty heads, and 
given to the smallest girls who, with a bowlder or 
cobble-stone, dexterously pounded out the grain 
without injuring it. 

A fleet of little burros stood ready to receive the 
wheat, when the complicated process was finished, 
in bulky sacks containing far more than their own 
weight. This done, the procession took up its 
march for San Felipe, burros in the van, driven by 
the boys, the men directing, and the rear brought up 


by the girls and the women, many of the latter with 
papooses at the breast, or back, as appeared to be 
most convenient to the unfledged Pueblinos. 

We found them all polite, attentive, and good- 
humored ; hair very black and thick, hanging over 
the forehead on a line with the eyebrows. The men 
with their back hair put up in a cue ; the girls with 
cheeks liberally smeared with brightest vermilion ; 
women and girls all wearing leggings — that is, 
wrapped as high as the knee, just as the men do. 
As they filed off, following in single file the path by 
the rippling acequia across the varied green carpet 
of grass and corn, lit up by the streaming rays of the 
setting sun just dipping behind the high rocky mesa 
across the river, they made a picture Robert would 
have delighted to paint, and far exceeding in beauty 
his " Moissoneurs." 

The village of these Pueblos (San Felipe,) is mainly 
on the west bank of the Rio Grande, which here 
hugs the base of a steep craggy precipice, at the foot 
of which the houses and church are clustered. I 
remember that Pike mentions passing here a large 
wooden bridge with eight arches. It is long since 
swept away. On the summit of the rocks, above 
the cliff, are the still imposing ruins of an old church, 
looking quite as picturesque and fully as ancient as 
any of the old castles on the Rhine. 

They manufacture coarse blankets, jars, vases and 
earthen utensils of every description, hair sieves, and 

My principal object in visiting the pueblo of Te- 
suque was to obtain specimens of their pottery, which 
is remarkable. I am informed that nearly all of the 
pottery used by the Mexicans is of Pueblo manufac- 

232 VASES. — JARS. 

ture. The vases and other articles they make are 
of classic and Biblical shapes, and, in passing by 
fountains and streams throughout New Mexico, look- 
ing at the women carrying jars of water gracefully 
poised on their heads, you may daily and hourly see 
Vernet's beautiful picture of " Rebecca at the Well '' 
repeated in life. I remarked a small vase in the 
possession of the Navajoes, of their own manufac- 
ture, and in daily domestic use, that would be a gem 
in any collection. 

The ancient Indian and Pueblo work of this de- 
scription is said to have been finer than the modern, 
and I am satisfied of the fact from inspection of the 
fragments I gathered among the ruins of the old 
pueblo of San Marcos, mentioned in my letter of 
August 2. The geometric figures and designs pre- 
vail of late years. Nevertheless, they still possess 
and use the elements of decorative art, as applied to 
pottery, precisely as we find them among the ancient 
Greeks and Egyptians, the lines straight or spiral, 
waving, inverted, arched, involute, or evolute, the 
scroll and cross carved, fillet and trefoil. The repeti- 
tion of all these well-defined and antique forms is 
certainly not accidental, but how and why they hap- 
pen to be found here is a question that can hardly 
be discussed by a cavalryman on a march. 

They also manufacture nearly all their own cloth- 
ing, a coarse woolen stuff called gerga by the Mexi- 
cans, furnishing the main material for serapes, blank- 
ets, etc., etc. 

Some of their costumes, when in holiday attire, are 
remarkable. I saw a party returning to Tesuque 
from a visit to the pueblo St. Domingo. One of the 
women, who had stopped on the bank of the creek 


to arrange her hair, had on a perfect Roman toga 
(not, of course, a toga virilis) beautifully worked. 
A band from the Zuni pueblo, two hundred and 
fifty miles distant from Santa Fe, came in while I 
was there to ask additional arms to defend them- 
selves against the Navajoes. This tribe is the larg- 
est of those now existing, and their towns, old 
and new, are the most interesting, from their posi- 
tion and history. Forty-seven warriors composed 
the representation. Most of them carried bows and 
arrows ; a few, guns. They had a more warlike 
appearance than the other Pueblos, and were dressed 
in moccasins, short linen breeches, leggings, and 
jacket ; their cartridge-boxes and pouches neatly 
made of antelope skin. 


Santa Fe, August 11, 1866. 

There is a chapter, and an interesting one in the 
history of the United States (time, commencement 
of the present century) that could now be made 
more than ever full and interesting with aid of the 
additional light attainable from the archives at San- 
ta Fe\ 

Did you ever hear of Mungo-Meri-Paike ? 

Perhaps not in that particular combination or 
wrapping of letters — the name, probably, being more 
familiar to you as Montgomery Pike, or Zebulon 
Montgomery Pike, Lieutenant and afterwards Brig- 
adier General U. 3- A. who bravely fell at the tak- 
ing of Little York, (now Toronto,) Canada, April 
27th, 181 3. 1 

In the spring of 1807, we find Lieutenant Pike 
virtually a prisoner at Santa Fe", in the hands of a 
Spanish military force commanded by the Duke of 
Alencaster, Governor of New Mexico, a province of 
the Spanish government — Spain and the United 
States being then at peace. Why he was thus held 
a prisoner, and sent forward to Chihuahua under 
military escort, was far from being clear to Pike, 
even up to the time he published an account of the 

1 See Appendix No. IV. 

pike's expedition. 235 

The archives, however, reveal the motives and in- 
structions under which the Spanish authorities 
acted, and give from the Mexican stand-point, in 
interesting detail, all the facts and records connected 
with the matter, even down to the commissary ac- 
counts for the maintenance of Pike's party, and the 
military escort. 

Among the papers referred to I also remarked 
communications and reports from Spanish consuls 
and agents in the United States, advising the Span- 
ish authorities in New Mexico of various movements 
and events likely to affect Spanish interests. 

1 was particularly struck with a report from New 
Orleans, communicating all the important features 
of Burr's conspiracy long before it was known in the 
United States. Another remarkable letter (" carta 
muy reservada" — highly confidential) is from the 
Spanish commander in western Florida, on the sub- 
ject of the cession of Louisiana by Napoleon. 

But to return to Mungo-Meri-Paike, as he is styled 
in nearly all the Spanish documents relating to him. 

The circumstances under which he was held pris- 
oner by the Spaniards, were briefly as follows : — 

Under orders from the War Department and in- 
structions of General Wilkinson of June 24th and 
July 12th, 1806, Lieutenant Pike, Sixth U. S. In- 
fantry, commanding a small party of one officer, 
three non-commissioned officers, and sixteen men, 
set out on the 15th July from Bellefontaine near 
St. Louis. 1 

Ascending the Missouri he reached the Osage 

1 He had returned but a few weeks before from an exploring expedition 
to the sources of the Mississippi, of which he has left a very interesting ac- 

236 pike's peak. — hard marching. 

River on the 28th, and went up that stream in boats 
as far as navigation was possible. September 6th 
he was on the dividing ridge between the Osage and 
White rivers. October 8th he struck the Arkansas. 
On the 28th of October, his lieutenant, a sergeant, 
and four men were detached and ordered to descend 
the Arkansas, which they did in canoes made of 
buffalo and elk skins. He then ascended the south 
shore, and, under the circumstances detailed in my 
letter of July 4th, reached the foot of the ridge 
under Pike's Peak on the 27th of November, 1806. 
Striking into the mountains by the head waters of 
the Arkansas, and crossing numerous ridges, he must 
have penetrated into what we now call the South 
Park, in Colorado. Here he describes springs, and 
a river running northeast, which he took to be one 
of the head waters of the Platte. 

From this point, with his small band reduced in 
numbers, disheartened by ceaseless toil and exhausted 
by hunger and fatigue, he struggled south and south- 
west over the difficult and dangerous mountains and 
precipices of that unknown region, marching half- 
clad through deep snows, under burdens of sixty or 
seventy pounds. 

Finally, after thrilling adventures and hair-breadth 
escapes, related with a modesty surpassed only by 
his bravery, he reached (as he supposed) the head 
waters of Red River on the 30th January, 1806. 
Here he determined to halt for a time and erect a 
small stockade fort, intending to remain long enough 
to construct transports on which his command could 
float down the river to Natchitoches, La. 

Meantime, the presence of an armed band of 
strangers corning from the United States was re- 



ported at Santa Fe*, and on the 26th of February, 
1807, a detachment of fifty dragoons and forty 
mounted militia under the command of Lieutenants 
Don Ignatio Saltelo and Don Bartolomeo Fernan- 
dez, appeared before the fort. Pike thus recounts 
his interview with Lieutenant Saltelo. 

" ' Sir,' said Saltelo, ' the Governor of New Mexico, 
being informed you had missed your route, ordered 
me to offer you, in his name, mules, horses, money, 
or whatever you might stand in need of to conduct 
you to the head of Red River ; as from Santa Fe to 
where it is sometimes navigable is eight days' jour- 
ney, and we have guides and the routes of the trad- 
ers to conduct us.' 

" ' What, said I (interrupting him), is not this the 
Red River?' 

" » No sir, the Rio del Norte.' " 

Thus Pike for the first time learned that he had 
crossed over into Mexican territory, and was not, as 
he supposed, on the waters of Red River. 

In the almost total absence of surveys and maps, 1 
his mistake was one that any explorer might have 

The waters of Red River 2 and those of the Rio 
Grande del Norte take their rise in the same group 
of mountains. Now, after leaving the Peak, Pike 
went so far west that on making the distance south 
to the region where he might expect to find the head 

1 See Appendix No. V. 

2 So sometimes called even to the present day, but in fact the Canadian 
River, a branch of the Arkansas. It rises north of and much further west 
than the Red River of Louisiana, and its course is in the same direction and 
parallel with it for some hundreds of miles. The Red takes its rise in the 
eastern and northern edge of the Llano Estacado. The Canadian in the 
mountains west of the Raton Pass, south and west of the Spanish Peaks. 
See Appendix No. VI. 


waters he sought, he naturally struck the west in- 
stead of the east side of the group of mountains 
whose ridge is the water-shed of both the rivers in 

Seeing his mistake, and appreciating its possible 
consequences, Pike instantly ordered his flag to be 
taken down. After some further parley, on the as- 
surance that " it was only necessary his Excellency 
should receive an explanation of our business on 
his frontier," Pike consented to accompany the 
troops to Santa Fe\ 

The announcement spread general joy through 
the Spanish party, and well it might, for the Ameri- 
can stockade had a very ugly look about it to an 
attacking force. 

It was thirty-six feet square, built of heavy cotton- 
wood logs, two feet in diameter, with two feet end 
laps, laid up six feet high, carried up with light logs 
to the height of twelve feet. In a narrow internal 
ditch were planted sharp stakes, projecting two and 
a half feet over the walls, making an effectual frise 
that rendered scaling almost impossible. Port-holes, 
eight feet from the ground, platforms to shoot from, 
bastions flanking all the curtains, and a surrounding 
ditch four feet wide, filled with water, completed the 
defense. 1 

It was built on the north bank of the Rio Conejos, 
five miles above its junction with the Del Norte. 

Passing through Ojo Caliente and the pueblo of 
San Juan, Pike arrived at Santa F6 on the evening 
of the 3d of March, 2 and was immediately taken to 
the " palace " described in my letter of August 4th. 

1 Lieutenant Saltclo reported it as " un excellence ntrincheramiento." 
- Tin- S|>nnis!i official report makes this interview on the 2d of March. 


His interview with the Governor (Alencaster) 
opened thus : — 

Governor. " You come to reconnoitre our country, 
do you ? " 

Pike. " I marched to reconnoitre our own." 

After an examination of Pike's papers, Alencaster 
informed him that he must go with his men to Chi- 
huahua to appear before the commanding general. 

Pike. " If we go to Chihuahua we must be con- 
sidered as prisoners of war ? " 

Governor. " By no means." 

Pike. " But sir, I cannot consent to be led three 
or four hundred leagues out of my route without its 
being by force of arms." 

Governor. " I know you do not go voluntarily, 
but I will give you a certificate from my hand of my 
having obliged you to march." 

Pike. " I will address you a letter on the subject." 1 

Reminding Alencaster of the Spanish expedition 
just returned from the Pawnee country, Pike said, 
" I would not wish to be impertinent in my observa- 
tions to your Excellency, but pray sir, do you not 
think it was a greater infringement of our territory 
to send six hundred miles in the Pawnee's, than for 
me with our small party to come on the frontiers of 
yours with an intent to descend the Red River ? " 

Governor. " I do not understand you." 

Pike. " No sir, any further explanation is un- 

After a dinner with the Governor that is described 
as " rather splendid," and a complimentary drive in 

1 In this letter Pike recapitulated the circumstances under which he 
came to Santa F4, and asked a distinct reply to the question — was he or 
not considered a prisoner of war. For Alencaster's answer see Appendix 
No. VII. 


a coach drawn by six mules, the Governor bade 
Pike adieu with — 

" Remember Alencaster in peace or war." 

Passing through San Domingo, San Felipe, and 
Albuquerque, he was placed at St. Fernandez under 
an escort commanded by Lieutenant Don Faciendo 
Malgares, late commander of the Pawnee expedition, 
and the same who afterwards became Governor of 
New Mexico. 

Reaching Chihuahua on the 2d of April, the com- 
manding general, Salcedo, received him with these 
words : — 

" You have given us and yourself a great deal of 

To whom Pike, ever ready, — " On my part en- 
tirely unsought, and on the part of the Spanish gov- 
ernment voluntary." 

Pike left Chihuahua under an escort on the 28th 
of April, and taking the shortest route through Mex- 
ico and Texas by the Presidio del Norte and Bras- 
sos San Antonio, arrived at Natchitoches on the 1st 
of July 1807. 


Under ordinary circumstances, a mere verbal ex- 
planation from Lieutenant Pike, or the exhibition 
of his instructions and papers, would have been 
sufficient to satisfy the Spanish authorities that his 
appearance on the waters of the Rio del Norte was 
simply the result of a mistake. But the circum- 
stances were extraordinary. The relations between 
Spain and the United States had been in a disturbed 
condition ever since the cession of Louisiana by 
Napoleon in 1803, and the Spanish and United 


States troops had almost come to actual hostilities 
on the Texas and Louisiana frontier. There was 
every appearance of a crisis in June, 1806, when 
Spanish emissaries at St. Louis reported the fit- 
ting out of Pike's expedition to their Consul at New 
Orleans. The Consul immediately advised the com- 
manding officer at Nacogdoches, by whom the de- 
spatch was transmitted through Colonel Cardero at 
San Antonio to the seat of government. Swiftly fol- 
lowing on the heels of this report came intelligence 
of Burr's conspiracy ; and as General Wilkinson, 
from whom Pike received his instructions, was more 
than suspected by the Spanish authorities of being 
deeply implicated with Burr, 1 the conclusion that 
some design detrimental to Spanish authority in the 
New Mexican province lay hidden in Pike's move- 
ments, was certainly not a violent one. 2 Straight- 
way the Spanish government fitted up an expedi- 
tion consisting of one hundred regular dragoons and 
five hundred mounted men, enlisted at Santa Fe, un- 
der the command of Lieutenant Don Faciendo Mal- 
gares. The instructions given to Malgares were, 
first to descend the Red River, and if he met Pike's 
expedition to intercept and turn it back. 

2d. To explore the country from the frontiers of 
New Mexico to the Missouri. 

3d. To visit and make treaties with the Camanche, 
Pawnee, and Kansas Indians ; distributing among 
their chiefs medals, flags, commissions, and presents. 

Malgares descended the Red (Canadian) River six 
hundred miles, then struck off to the north, going as 

1 See Appendix No. VIII. 

2 And there were not wanting persons in the United States who came to 
the same conclusion. 


242 pike's papers. 

far as Solomon's Fork of Kansas River, where he 
held a council with the Pawnees shortly before Pike's 
arrival there. He then returned to New Mexico by 
the Arkansas and the Rio de las Animas, reaching 
Santa Fe* in October. 

This expedition was fitted out on a very liberal 
scale and cost the Spanish government ten thousand 
dollars. Meantime the conspiracy of Burr, of which 
the Spanish government had, as we have seen, timely 
advice, became known in the United States and in 
Mexico, although Pike remained in entire ignorance 
of the event until he heard of it en route for Chi- 
huahua, at Caracall, on the 27th of March. 

It is more than probable that Alencaster at Santa 
Fe" was satisfied there was no connection between 
Pike's expedition and Burr's designs, but under the 
centralized Spanish system he could do nothing but 
report to his commanding officer, Salcedo, who in 
his turn reported to a higher authority. Lieutenant 
Pike's papers, letters, notes, maps, astronomical and 
meteorological observations, etc., were taken from 
him at Chihuahua, and he never recovered them. 
They were probably forwarded to Mexico, possibly 
even to Madrid, where they may, it is to be hoped, 
some day be unearthed. All the satisfaction Pike 
was enabled to receive in reply to his demand upon 
Salcedo for them, was the following letter : — 

" Of the papers connected with the expedition, there has 
been formed an inventory and certificate respecting each 
of them, accompanying it to you, and deposited in the of- 
fice the seventeenth current, for the purpose therein ex- 
pressed ; the judgment on which remains for the decision 
of the king, my lord, and shall be reported in the secret 
archives of this captain generaley ; and meditating that 


you have indicated in your summons official to this govern- 
ment the greatest desire to arrive at the territories of the 
United States, have resolved that you prepare to continue 
your voyage in two or three days ; in consequence of which, 
the arrangements necessary shall be made, such as you, 
with the people of your expedition, have experienced until 
your arrival at this place. 

"God preserve you many years, 
(vSigned) " Nemesio Salcedo. 

" Chihuahua, 23rf April, 1807. 
" First Lieutenant of Infantry, Montgomery Pike." 

The sum made up of the money expended upon 
Pike's Spanish military escorts, and the further 
amount advanced to him at Chihuahua for his per- 
sonal expenses, remained for many years a subject of 
dispute and diplomacy between our government and 
that of Spain, which latter bequeathed it to the 
Mexican Republic. 

The matter was finally settled, I believe, in the 
treaty between the United States and Mexico after 
the Texan war, but I have no means here of ascer- 
taining precisely how. 

To complete the Spanish view of the Pike history, 
here is the official report made upon his arrest by 
the authorities at Santa Fe. 1 


" On the 15th of February last two Indians of the Ute 
tribe arrived and brought into my presence an Anglo- 
American, a young man of genteel appearance 2 whose 
statement I heard, and even invited him to dine with me, 
in order to satisfy myself that he was what I supposed him 
to be as to intelligence and good breeding. 

1 See Appendix No. IX. for original Spanish. 2 See Appendix No. X. 


" I did not believe him, and suspecting the truth of his 
statement as to the nature of his escort, I sent out a small 
regular detachment and some provincial troops to recon- 
noitre, who not only fell in with a first lieutenant with six 
soldiers in an excellent fort built on the Conejos not 
far from its junction with the Del Norte, two days' journey 
from the capital of this province, towards the same direc- 
tion, but overcoming the obstacles of deep snows, succeeded 
in finding the sergeant and corporal belonging to the de- 
tachment, making a total of thirteen soldiers, completing 
the full number, two of them with frozen feet and having 
lost nearly all their fingers. 

" On the 2d of March last, the above-mentioned lieuten- 
ant, whose name is Mungo-Meri-Paike, came in with six 
men of his detachment, and on the 18th the remainder of 
his men. Without any resistance they acquiesced in the 
notification made them, that being in my territory it was 
absolutely necessary that they should appear before me. 

" They did so, with their arms, and I assured them that in 
no respect should they be treated as prisoners, saving only, 
that in accordance with the orders of the general com- 
manding, it was necessary they should appear before him 
and fully explain the objects of their mission. 

" Paike showed me his instructions from General Wilkin- 
son, his journal, and a rough sketch of a chart of all the 
rivers and countries he had explored. 

" Placing all which papers in a trunk, of which I requested 
him to retain the key, I delivered the same to the officer 
commanding his escort — not to be opened save in pres- 
ence of the aforesaid general commanding. 

" From all which circumstances, from what I gathered 
from Robinson and from the above named officer, I con- 
clude distinctly that the expedition of -July was specially 
designed to conciliate two Indian tribes in behalf of the 
U. S. government, to make them liberal presents, and 
drawing them into friendship, treaty, and commerce, to 


place them under the Anglo-American protection — all 
this referring specially to the Camanche tribe, the most 
powerful of our allies. 

" Furthermore, that the Anglo-American government 
considers as included within the boundaries of Louisiana 
all the rivers that empty into the Mississippi, and all the 
territories that extend to the head waters of the Rio Colo- 
rado, 1 which rises a few leagues from the pueblo of Taos 
further to the north in this province : that it is their in- 
tention this year or the next to establish forts or settle- 
ments on all these rivers, in order to monopolize all the 
trade and commerce carried on by a large number of tribes 
in this province. 

" The detachment of Anglo-American troops referred 
to, went to Chihuahua to appear before the commanding 
general, guarded by an escort, being allowed to carry their 
arms and ammunition on account of the danger of hostile 
Apaches on the route. 

" All of which is submitted to the general commanding, 
reminding him of the representation made in my commu- 
nication of the 4th of January last year, concerning the 
necessity of placing this province on a respectable footing, 
and of having frontier posts and positions thrown out to 
oppose the ambitious views of the aforesaid Anglo-Ameri- 
can government, exposing also the wretchedly defenseless 
condition actually existing, and so found for years past by 
whomsoever has been in command. 
" Santa Fe, April 1st, 1807." V 

1 Rio Colorado — Red River. The stream here referred to is the Cana- 
dian or Red, not the Red River of Louisiana which rises, as already stated 
much further east and south along the edge of the Llano Estacado or 
Staked Plain. 


Santa Fe, August 11, 1866. 

" Saddle up ! " comes the order. So this, my last 
letter from the capital of New Mexico, must be hur- 
ried, leaving yet others unwritten. I had a great 
deal more to tell my readers, and request them to be 
persuaded that the letters I am prevented from writ- 
ins would have been far more interestins: than those 
already sent. 

The pleasantest episode of my visit here has been 
the society of 


with whom I passed three days, I need hardly say 
delightfully. He is one of the few men I ever met 
who can talk long hours to you of what he has seen, 
and yet say very little about himself. He has to be 
drawn out. I had many questions to ask, and his 
answers were all marked by great distinctness of 
memory, simplicity, candor, and a desire to make 
some one else, rather than himself, the hero of his 
story. In answer to queries concerning Indians, he 
would frequently reply — unlike so many I have met 
who knew all about them — "I don't know," — "I 
can't say," — "I never saw that." In speaking to 
him of the practice of riding with short stirrups, he 
said : " All the Indians, hunters, and trappers, ride 
with short stirrups. I am almost bow-legged from 


it. And they are more important to the Indian than 
the white man, as it is only by aid of the stirrup 
he can shift his position, hanging down on one 
side, so as to conceal all his body but his leg. A 
leg is all you have to fire at, as he throws himself on 
the side, or buttocks, or around the neck of the horse. 
On this account, also, they hang the stirrups well 
forward on the saddle." 

The conversation turning on grizzly bears, I 
read to him the following extract from a scientific 
work : — 

" Middendorff (Sibirische Reise), in an exceedingly elab- 
orate article on the Ursus arctus, in the course of which he 
discusses the characteristics of over fifty different skulls, 
decides that all European bears belong to one species, of 
many varieties. In comparing the grizzly bear with the 
Ursus arctus, he finds so few differences as to be inclined 
to consider both as the same ; the size of the grizzly, as well 
as its weight of 800 pounds, he thinks overestimated ; and 
even admitting a weight of 800 pounds, mentions a bear of 
the Ural of this magnitude, according to Eversman. The 
long claws of the grizzly he admits to exceed those of the 
Old World bear, but is not certain that all of the former 
species have an equal development in this respect." 

The recognized superiority of the American griz- 
zly evidently annoys the European professor ; and 
the whole passage, and particularly the idea of com- 
paring any other bear with the grizzly, amused Car- 
son very much. He laughed outright. " I have 
often and again seen grizzlies," said he, " of ten, 
eleven, and twelve hundred pounds. I distinctly re- 
member killing one in the spring of 1846, that 
weighed 1200 pounds. Lieutenant Beale told me 
that he saw one of 1800. Trappers have often told 


me of numbers rising that weight, and I have no 
reason to doubt them." 

Being somewhat sceptical as to the stories I havo 
heard of Indians tied on saddles when going into a 
fight, I asked him if he had ever seen any instances 
of it. His answer was : " I have often heard of In- 
dians tying themselves to their saddles on going into 
action, but I never saw such a thing. I have seen a 
great many Indians shot on horseback, and jump 
out of their saddles, dead. I think that if an Indian 
is shot properly " {properly is good — I like properly} 
" he will tumble off on to the ground as freely as any 
white man. It is very likely," he added, " that peo- 
ple who tell such a story, don't mean to tell what is 
not true ; they are only mistaken. They see an In- 
dian shot, and think he ought to fall, when, being 
only wounded, he is able from habit to keep his seat 
in the saddle, where a white man could n't." 

Some one mentioned Father De Smedt. " I admire 
and venerate that good man," said Carson. " He is 
the only missionary I ever saw who had the slightest 
effect upon the trappers. All the Indians, even those 
who have never seen him, venerate * the long black 
robe.' I remember he came once among the hunters 
and trappers up in the mountains, and baptized forty 
odd children." 

Rifle shooting being under discussion, u The 
Utes," says Carson, " are the best shots in the coun- 
try, whether Indian or white. I have handled the 
rifle since I was so high," indicating the size of a 
small boy, " and shot a good deal," (most men of 
Carson's skill, would have said, ' I consider myself 
the best shot in the Rocky Mountains,' or, ' I '11 


turn my back on no man for rifle-shooting,') " but 
some of the Utes beat me." 

" It is only two or three years since the Utes have 
learned to play cards. The Camanches and Arrap- 
ahoes are great gamblers." 


" This territory will continue to remain in its pres- 
ent impoverished state as long as the mountain In- 
dians are allowed to roam at large. The only true 
remedy for this great evil is to compel the savages 
to form settlements by themselves. Then assist and 
teach them to cultivate the soil. In time they will 
be able to gain a maintenance independent of the 
general government, and, to a certain extent they will 
prove responsible for their acts. After the successful 
campaign against the Arrapahoes and Camanches in 
1865, as usual, a treaty was made with them before 
half their tribes were subdued. As long as any por- 
tion of their nation remained insubordinate no treaty 
should have been made, as it offered a loop-hole 
for the treaty-makers to creep out whenever they 
felt so inclined. Then was the time, if ever, when 
we might at a slight additional expense, and with 
the certainty of saving many valuable lives, have 
shown these Indians that they were dealing with a 


owerful government." 



Answering an inquiry as to eastern Indians, he 
said, " I have seen Iroquois Indians. A number of 
them came out in the service of the Fur Company 
about 1830. All I saw were good hunters, good 
shots, and brave warriors." 


He cares but little for a title, and when some one 
at the table apologized for calling him Colonel, in- 
stead of General, " Oh call me Kit at once, and be 
done with it," was his reply. 

Speaking of the decrease of Indians, he remarked* 
" When I first went over into California in 1829, the 
valleys were full of Indian tribes. Indians were thick 
everywhere, and I saw a great deal of some large 
and flourishing tribes. When I went there again in 
1853, they had all disappeared, and when I inquired 
about certain tribes I had seen on the very spot 
where I then stood, was told by the people living 
there that they had never heard of them." 

Some one referred to Carson's intimate knowledge 
of Indian strategy. " Why yes," he said, " I am up 
to a good many of their tricks, but they fooled me 
once — they fooled me pretty bad that time. I '11 
tell you about it. It was in — let me see — yes, 
1835. There were six of us hunters out after buffalo, 
up in the Snake country. We had made a pretty 
good hunt, and came into camp at night, intending 
to start in next morning. Well, we camped. Had 
a good many dogs with us, some of them good dogs. 
They barked a good deal, and we heard wolves. As 
I lay by the fire, I saw one or two big wolves sneak- 
ing about camp — one of them quite in it. Gordon 
wanted to fire, but I would not let him, for fear of 
hilling some of the dogs. I had just a little suspi- 
cion, that ;.ie wolves might be Indians, but when I 
saw them turn short round, and heard the snap of 
their teeth, as the dogs came too close to one of 'em, 
I felt easy then, and made sure it was a wolf. The 
Indian fooled me that time. Confound the rascal," 
— becoming animated — "confound the rascal, do 

carson's family. 251 

you think he had n't two old buffalo bones in his 
hand that he cracked together every time he turned 
to snap at the dogs ? Well, by and by we dozed off 
asleep, and it was n't long before I was awoke by a 
crash and a blaze. I jumped straight for the mules, 
and held 'em. If the Indians had been smart, 
they 'd a had us all, but they run as soon as they 
fired. They killed but one of us — poor Davis. He 
had five bullets in his body, and eight in his buffalo- 
robe. The Indians were a band of Sioux, on the 
war path after the Snakes, and came on us by acci- 
dent. They tried to waylay us next morning, but 
we killed three of 'em, including their chief." 

General Carson (he is Colonel of the First Regi- 
ment New Mexican Cavalry, and Brevet Brigadier- 
General), usually resides at Taos, but is now in 
command at Fort Garland. He has been married 
many years to a Mexican lady (Senora Josepha 
Jaramilla) and has a family of three boys and three 
girls. I find that he is beloved and respected by all 
who know him, and his word looked upon as truth 
itself. 1 

American influence in New Mexico is necessarily 
very strong. The Government, for years past, has 
not spent less than five millions of dollars per annum 
there, receiving scarcely any thing in return, for the 
taxes paid by the Territory this year to the United 
States, although larger than ever collected before, 
will not reach eighty thousand dollars. The Ameri- 
cans here are superior in position, in education, and 
intelligence — hold all the high and responsible of- 

1 While these pages are going through the press, General Carson's ap- 
pointment as Indian Agent for New Mexico is announced; an excellent one 
for the Government and for the Indians. 


fices in the Territory, and are the dispensers of gov- 
ernment patronage and government funds, which, in 
the eyes of the Mexicans, is something enormous. 

And yet, I am assured, by a gentleman whose 
opportunities of observation were more extended 
than mine could possibly be, that this influence is 
very much weakened by the general irregularity of 
life in nearly all of the Americans in New Mexico, 
and the coarseness of conduct and manners of too 
many. And there is, he adds, no sarcasm nor ridi- 
cule they so profusely heap on the natives, that these 
latter do not return with compound interest. 

Necessarily, the short periods and temporary pur- 
poses for which Americans come out here, their 
freedom of restraint from home influence and home 
customs, have much to do with producing this state 
of things. As appointments to offices are held for 
longer terms, the inducements to reside here become 
greater, and Americans bring out their wives and 
children with them, it is to be hoped and expected 
that the example of American family life may be 
beneficial to both Mexicans and our own country- 
men. There is already a nucleus of delightful soci- 
ety in Santa Fe ; graced, I should rather say cre- 
ated, by the presence of some fifteen or twenty edu- 
cated, refined, and accomplished American ladies. 

Any account of commerce and manufactures in 
New Mexico must necessarily be short. The New 
Mexicans are essentially a pastoral people, and a 
poor people. Come and look at them, and you will 
then understand that we, in the United States, do 
not know what poverty is. At least six eighths of 
them are only just emerging from a state of peon- 
age ; for peonage, like its accursed twin sister, slav- 


ery, dies hard. Said a man (a Virginian) to me, 
the other day, — 

" That man there is my slave," — pointing to a 
tall, good-looking, elderly Mexican, with intelligent 
and sharp-cut features. 

" Your slave ! " said I ; " why, what do you 
mean ? " 

"I mean that I bought him and paid for him. 
He owed his former master three hundred dollars. 
I paid the money, and now I own him." 

" But," said I, " if he chooses to walk off, and 
work for himself, you have no law to get him back." 

"That's very true," he replied, " but they don't 
know any better." 

And there are thousands still held here in slavery 
and peonage, simply because they don't know any 
better, or because long years of aimless and hope- 
less toil have produced an apathy and ignorance 
that time and freedom alone can dissipate. Already 
there are signs of improvement, and I have heard of 
several instances of men, formerly peons, one in 
particular at Mora, who, but a few years out of 
bondage, have already earned competency and ease. 1 
With the elevation of this class, which is the great 
body of the people, will come self-respect, industry, 
saving, comfort, and the commerce that necessarily 
springs from the wants of a civilized people. With 
the exception of gerga, a coarse, woolen texture, 
made by the Mexicans for cloaks, blankets, and car- 

1 Since this letter was written an act of Congress has been passed abol- 
ishing peonage in New Mexico and making it a penal offense to aid in 
maintaining it. See Appendix, No. XI. The Legislature of the Territory 
of New Mexico placed a law on the statute book some j'ears since, abolish- 
ing peonage, but the system is still to some extent kept up, and the act of 
Congress is aimed at those who thus illegally attempt to maintain its ex- 


pets, I know of no useful article manufactured by 
them. When the Mexicans speak of a man who 
has risen to a sufficiently prosperous condition to 
dress as Americans do, they say, " Why, only a few 
years ago, he wore gerga ! " 

Thirty years ago, there was not a pane of glass in 
New Mexico. 

In 1843, the total number of wagons crossing the 
plains from the United States to New Mexico, and 
representing the sum total of its commerce, was 
just two hundred. In 1865, there came into New 
Mexico from the States three thousand wagons be- 
longing to traders alone, exclusive of the govern- 
ment transportation. 

This year (1866) there will be from five to six 
thousand wagons, two hundred and fifty of which 
are now between Fort Union and Santa Ft;, coming 
in. Most of the large trains return empty. Some 
of them occasionally get a freight of copper or other 
mineral, and a still greater number take in wool. 
The exports of both those articles should, and will 
be, indefinitely increased. The yield of wool could 
be made enormous, and in proportion to extent of 
territory, not even California is richer in mineral 

But one condition is needed for all this, which 
stands for prosperity and civilization — it is a con- 
dition precedent : — 

Get rid of the Indian ! 



Ruins of the Old Church and Pueblo, 
(On the Pecos River) New Mexico, 
August 12, 1866. 

I spoke of this interesting spot in ray letter of 
July 18, and promised to return to the subject. I 
find that popular tradition has invested these ruins 
with an antiquity that history does not warrant. 
I had heard the church spoken of as being between 
two and three hundred years old, and the same pop- 
ular authority ascribes the building of the pueblo to 
the Aztecs. A little inquiry dissipated the super- 
fluous centuries and years, and I ascertained the 
church to be only somewhat older than the present 
cathedral at Santa Fe ! This would give it about 
one hundred and twenty years. It was built by the 
Franciscans (not by the Jesuits, as usually stated), 
and probably abandoned by them when they were 
obliged to leave the country with the Spaniards. 
The pueblo is simply as old as the other pueblos, 
and is not a ruin of centuries, but of comparatively 
few years — probably about thirty. General (Kit) 
Carson informed me that when he came to New 
Mexico, in 1826, the pueblo was then inhabited, 
and full of Indians. From other sources I ascer- 
tain that it soon after became greatly reduced in 
numbers by the attacks of hostile Indians and by 
disease, and finally that the remnant left of the 
tribe went away, and joined the pueblo at Jemez. 


It is said that a few years since the surveyor-general 
of the Territory was looking for these survivors, for 
the purpose of settling the title to the tract origi- 
nally granted to the Pecos, as the right to it had 
vested in them. 1 Besides the popular exaggeration 
of antiquity, there are also others as to the practices 
of the Indians, the religion of Montezuma, the fire 
always kept burning, the enormous snake worshiped 
by the Indians, and fed with such dainties as little 
children, etc. For the ancient religious rites, and 
the burning fire, there was some foundation, but all 
else is fiction and fable. 

No exaggeration, however, is necessary to make 
the spot one of great interest. The church itself 
must have been one of the finest in New Mexico. 
The heavy walls and massive towers of the exterior 
were relieved by galleries and cornices of curiously 
carved wood, while the ornamented beams and 
brackets of the interior were still more remarkable. 
The carving was evidently done with knives, and 
doubtless was the work of the Pueblos themselves, 
under the instruction of the Franciscan fathers. 

There are some twenty Pueblo towns in various 
parts of the Territory. These Indians have existed 
here in communities "time whereof the memory of 
man runneth not to the contrary." They reside in 
towns, cultivate the soil, have large flocks, manufact- 
ure many useful articles, such as pottery, baskets, 
blankets, coarse woolen cloth, etc., and, on occasion, 

1 I think there must be some mistake in this statement, although I had 
not time to investigate it. The Pueblo title being only possessory, the fee- 
simple remaining in the Spanish government having, through the Mexican 
government, passed to the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hi- 
dalgo, it would appear that the abandonment of the pueblo on the Pecos 
would vest the possessor}- title also in the United States. 


can fight quite as well as the wild Indians, as the 
Apaches and Navajoes well know whenever they 
venture to depredate upon them. For nearly two 
centuries they have been characterized by a peaceful 
disposition, and noted for their honesty and sobriety. 
I am informed that since the foundation of the terri- 
torial government, there is no instance of indictment 
against a Pueblo for theft, or any kindred crime. 

Views taken in 1846 show large portions of the 
Pecos pueblo as then standing, east of the church. 
Of these, merely the foundations of the wall are 
left. To the west, also, nothing but vestiges of the 
main and cross walls remain for a distance of nearly 
four hundred yards before reaching the main mass 
of the ruin, the exterior walls of which are still left 
from five to thirty feet in height. Numbers of rooms, 
some of them plastered, are still entire, and the inte- 
rior faces of the square were evidently three stories 
in height. This building, I should judge, was the 
last one occupied by the decreasing colony, as being 
most easily defended ; the material of those nearest 
the church being, probably, used to strengthen it. 
Judging by the eye, I should say its dimensions 
were some six hundred by three hundred yards, ter- 
minating to the west on a narrow ledge of naked 
rock, and admirably situated for defense. A long 
and narrow sally-port at each end, and a broader 
one in the centre — probably for flocks in case of 
siege — made provision for hostile attack. A large 
circular cavity at the upper end is pointed out as the 
estufa. As late as 1850, the windows and doors of 
the church were perfect. Six years ago the roof fell 
in. The exterior wood-work, gallery, etc., have now 
disappeared, and the finely carved beams, cornices, 



and brackets of the interior, are fast going. A neigh- 
boring ranch man has purchased the building, and is 
now erecting a house with the old adobes of the 
church, laid up in the walls by the Indians, under 
the direction of the Spanish missionaries, nearly a 
century and a half ago. I examined the adobes as 
they were put up in the new wall, and found them 
perfectly good and sound. 

Thus, in a few years, there will not be left a ves- 
tige of the old pueblo and church on the Pecos 
attractive and interesting objects to every traveller 
who has entered New Mexico from the United 
States for the past thirty years. 

As I write, the cloudy sky throws a sombre light 
on the dark, massive walls of the old church, and 
looking toward the mountains in the west, the eye 
can still trace the long lines of wall that formerly 
connected it with the main pueblo. The valley 
spreads out beautifully, north and south, and to the 
east rises the lofty mesa, going sheer up with its suc- 
cessive strata of red and white rocks, festooned and 
garlanded with large pines that, from two thousand 
feet below, look like diminutive shrubbery. The si- 
lence of evening and the desolation of ruin are on 
the scene. There is nothing of life visible but a 
few goats browsing among the broken walls. 

Gibbon says that the idea of writing the history 
of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire first 
presented itself to his mind as he sat amid the ruins 
of the Capitol, listening to the chanting of the bare- 
footed friars. I wonder that these ruins on the 
Pecos have not similarly inspired some one to make 
history of the story of this most interesting people. 


Buegwin's Spring (12 miles north of Fort ) 
Union), New Mexico, August 15, 1866. J 

Coming out of Santa Fe the other day, I overtook 
on the road two men, who were evidently neither 
Americans nor Mexicans. There was something 
about their appearance that bespoke them French- 
men, and such, on conversation, they turned out to 
be — deserters from the French army in Mexico. 
They have been some months on this side of the 
Rio Grande, and were making their way to Las 
Vegas. I hear of numbers of these deserters 
throughout the Territory — at Kosloski's, Taos, Algo- 
dones, etc., and they are still more numerous in the 
lower part of the valley, down toward El Paso. 
I should suppose there must be, including those re- 
ferred to in a former letter as forming part of the gar- 
rison at Fort Bliss, some two or three hundred in 
New Mexico and Arizona, exclusive of those who 
have made their way down into Texas. I am in- 
formed also, that it was the increase of desertion in 
the regiments as they approached the Rio Grande 
that compelled the French troops, marching from 
Chihuahua upon El Paso to drive out Juarez, to 
abandon the expedition. 

The road from Santa Fe to Las Vegas (seventy 
miles) is one of the most interesting rides I know, 
presenting every variety of mountains, canons, gor- 
ges, groves of grand old pines, stretches of meadow 


and occasional strips of cultivated fields. Las Vegas 
is remarkable for its medicinal hot springs, five 
miles from the town. The principal hotel is kept by 
a Frenchman from- Montauban, who expressed him- 
self to me with patriotic indignation concerning some 
French deserters who had called upon him a few 
days before. 

Fort Union, our next halting place, I have -already 
spoken of in my letter of July. It is a large military 
depot, admirably organized and administered. New 
buildings and quarters of adobe are going up, which, 
when completed, will make it one of the finest posts 
in the West. 

An old general officer of the regular army used to 
say that the three duties of a quartermaster (as un- 
derstood by quartermasters) were : 

First — To make himself comfortable. 

Second — To make himself more comfortable. 

Third — To make himself most comfortable. 

And if he had time to do any thing besides that, 
it was to make everybody else uncomfortable. The 
race of quartermasters thus described is not yet ex- 
tinct ; but that there can be some of a very different 
kind was proven to us by our sojourn at this post. 

Marching orders! Home again! We turn our 
faces east, and saddle up with alacrity. But even 
this pleasant medal has its reverse, and now comes 
the quart dlieure de Rabelais — the drawing of the 
school-boy's sled up the hill down which he glanced 
so rapidly ; the return of the picnic, with jumbled 
drapery and dilapidated baskets ; the cordeling up 
stream after floating down so smoothly : 

•' La vie est la riviere 
Et l'honime est le bateau.'' 


No more Rocky Mountains, and soda fountains, 
and brook trout, and Garden of the Gods, Pike's 
and Spanish Peaks, talks with Kit Carson, enthusi- 
astic receptions, unlimited champagne, bailes, feasts, 
agitation of light fantastics, and investiture of biled 
shirt, regardless of expense ; no more freedom from 
fatigue, stable and guard duty — but the merciless 
reveille at three o'clock in the morning, as certain as 
fate, or Theodore Hook's tax-gatherer : 

" Here comes Mr. Winter, collector of taxes, 
] advise you to give hiin whatever he axes; 
I advise you to do it without any flummery, 
For, tho' his name is Winter, his actions are summary." 

This morning we left Fort Union on our return to 
the States. The usual route is by the Raton Pass 
and the Arkansas River, old Forts Bent, Dodge, etc., 
to Fort Riley. Instead of this we take what is 
called the " cut-off," or Cimarron route, striking the 
Arkansas River above Fort Dodge — a route said to 
be at least one hundred miles shorter than that by 
the Raton. A nearly direct line drawn on the map 
from Fort Union to Fort Dodge, will approximate 
the route we follow, passing through New Mexico, 
Texas, Colorado, and Kansas. There is very little 
wood and water upon it, and an unpleasant super- 
fluity of Indians — Cheyennes and Kiowahs ; the 
latter generally thought to be the most treacherous 
and cruel of the Indians of the plains. Moreover, 
no towns, no post-offices, no ranches, not a hut or 
habitation in any shape, and a copious catalogue of 
negatives in all matters pertaining to civilization. 
But what matters all that, if we but shorten the 
space between us and our sweethearts and wives. 

Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico are not looked 


upon as the most delightful countries to campaign or 
march in, and we know what we have to expect. 
Would you like an enumeration of the main attrac- 
tions of our march ? Here is one by George Canter- 
bury, private, Company C, — Regiment Cavalry : — 

" Fierce Mars I bid a glad farewell, 
Anil turn my hack upon licllona, 
To photograph, in doggerel, 
New Mexico and Arizona: 

" The stinging grass, the thorn}' plants, 
And other prickly, tropic glories: 
The thieving, starved inhabitants, 
Who look so picturesque in stories ; 

" The dusty, hot, long, dreary way, 

Where 'neath a blazing sun you totter, 
To reach a camp at close of day, 
And rind it destitute of water; 

" The dying mule, the dried-up spring, 
Which novel-writers seldom notice; 
The song of blood mosquito's sing, 
The vicious howling of coyotes ; 

" Tarantulas and centipedes, 

Horned toads, and piercing mesquite daggers, 
With thorny bushes, grass, and weeds, 
To bleed the traveller as he staggers. 

" Why paint things in a rosy light, 

And never tell the simple fact? — thus. 
How one sits down to rest at night, 
And often squats upon a cactus. 

" The night bird's music, sweet and clear, 
Is over-pictured not a lettle ; 
A search might prove the enchanter's ear 
The habitation of a beetle. 

" And oft at night the sentinel 

Who, dozing, dreams of distant battle, 

Is roused in fright to hear the yell 
Of Indians who have nipped his cattle. 


" There is no fairer rule than that 

Which gives to Caesar all that 's Caesar's, 
Yet this is not a land of fat 
Because the people are called Greasers." 

And so on, for quantity, through fifty verses. The 
picture must be truthful, for he adds : 

'' If any think me too severe, 

Or call my yarn a wicked libel, 
I'll take, to prove myself sincere, 
My ' davy ' — on a Mormon Bible." 

George was evidently in a bad humor when he 
wrote his poem, and clearly makes no per contra al- 
lowance for the beauties of Nature and an occasional 

Burgwin's Spring, where we camp to-night, is 
named after the gallant Captain Burg win, First Reg- 
iment United States Dragoons, who fell while lead- 
ing the attack upon the insurgents at Taos, who 
made their last desperate stand at the pueblo church. 

Canadian (or Red) River, August 16. 

After our short march of yesterday, we to-day 
made thirty-three miles, passing nothing remarkable 
but the Wagon Mound, (so called from its shape), 
and a rocky descent from a mesa, thickly strewn with 
scoriae and lava, down to a plain of lower level, for 
now all is prairie and plain, with the ocean-like 
swells and undulations for sole relief to the eye. 

Just below our camp the river passes through a 
rocky canon, whose recesses and caves have evidently 
furnished winter-quarters to more than one band of 
Indians. The canons east of the Rio Grande are 
not so remarkable as those west of the river in New 
Mexico, and these, again, are inferior in grandeur to 


those in Sonora, culminating in size and magnifi- 
cence as you approach the Pacific. 

A canon with sides of one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred feet is certainly a handsome thing, 
in its way ; but over on the Colorado of the West 
they have them on a finer scale. That river emerges 
from the bowels of the mountain range through a 
narrow gateway, flanked by walls to the height of 
more than a thousand feet, rising perpendicularly out 
of the water. That is the Black Canon. The Big 
Canon is hemmed in by walls two thousand feet 
high, and is in turn far exceeded by the Great Canon 
of the Colorado, at the mouth of Diamond River, 
where its walls have an altitude of over three thou 
sand feet above the Colorado. A few miles furthei 
east, where the surface of the table-lands has an al- 
titude of nearly one thousand feet, the dimensions 
of the canon are far more imposing, and its cliffs rise 
— hold your breath — to the height of more than a 
mile from the river ! 

This river is the paradise of the geologist, if he 
could only get there. Imagine a section of a mile 
in depth of successive strata of rock, whereon to read, 
as in a book, the world's geological history. In this 
respect, the eastern is the reverse of the western 
slope of the Rocky Mountains. The headlong de- 
scent of water from the western edge of the table- 
lands into the trough of the Lower Colorado toward 
the Pacific, laid bare, as it were, the foundations of 
the earth. Here on the eastern slope, the nearly 
uniform easterly dip of the rocks, underlying a 
smooth and almost unbroken surface of long and 
gentle swells, with their protecting coating of grass, 
carries off the long drainage from the mountains 
gently and without disturbance. 

kit carson's story. 265 

The canons are all well known to the western 
hunters and trappers from the fact that they are at 
once roads and passages where no others can be 
found, and remarkable natural objects, either from 
their great size or natural beauty. Kit Carson tells 
a story of a friend of his, an old trapper, who had 
not been within the limits of civilization since his 
childhood, and had never seen a street of brick 
houses. He went down to St. Louis and was in- 
vited to stay at the house of an acquaintance. Sal- 
lying forth in the afternoon, he did not return in the 
evening, nor in fact, all night. By daybreak next 
morning his friend went out to hunt him, and found 
him asleep in the market-house. He had lost his 
way, he said, because " the confounded canons here 
were all so much alike he could n't tell one from an- 

Cedar Spring (Waters of Cimarron), Texas, ) 
August 19, 1866. ) 

When I was a schoolboy, our maps had little or 
nothing indicated upon them beyond the Mississippi 
River. St. Anthony's Falls, Indian Territory, Rocky 
Mountains, Great American Desert, made up nearly 
the sum total of what was required of the engraver 
in the way of lettering. The Arkansas and Platte 
Rivers might sometimes be marked, but in a feeble 
and dreamy sort of way, with about as much cer- 
tainty as they might have put down a river in Cen- 
tral Africa. Officers are still in the service who have 
often crossed the plains, a thousand miles, without 
seeing a house or the face of a human being. Within 
fifteen years a guide was absolutely necessary to at- 
tempt the passage of any part of it.' Now, how 
changed ! The map-makers can hardly find colors 


enough to mark lines and boundaries of Territories, 
States, and counties, nor room enough to indicate 
all the towns, capitals, post-offices, forts, garrisons, 
ferries, rivers, creeks, etc. Stage lines run over a 
dozen routes traversing the plains, and where houses 
and ranches fail, you find a stage station. The route 
we are travelling, however, is an exception. Never- 
theless, it is an old route, opened more than forty 
years ago. Since 1861 it has been almost aband- 
oned on account of the Indians, and is only just now 
being resumed. This part of the plains, running 
down further south into Texas, including the Llano 
Estacado or Staked Plain, still remains almost in 
its primitive geographical seclusion and isolation. 
Maps have done little or nothing for it, and we find 
it difficult to locate ourselves day by day when we 
halt. A few remarkable points, such as Burgwin's 
Spring, Wagon Mound, and Point of Rocks, are cor- 
rectly indicated and their distances ascertained, but 
beyond them, coming this way, we have to feel for 
our route, and make our own maps and distances. 
Part of our road and several of the points are indeli- 
bly marked in biood. The forty miles from Point of 
Rocks, going back to Wagon Mound, were the track 
of a bloody, brave, and disastrous fight made by 
eight passengers in the stage against a band of sixty 
Apaches. They fought every inch of the long, dread 
struggle. Killed one by one, and dropped on the road, 
two survivors maintained their defense a long time, 
and when the sole contestant was left, his last dying 
effort was to strew the contents of his powder-horn 
in the sand and stir it in with his foot, so that the 
Indians could not use it. 

Wilson's Creek, some miles this way, is named 


after a Mr. Wilson, a merchant of Santa Fe, who 
was overtaken here by the Indians, and, with his 
wife and child — for he was alone with them — 
butchered with the usual savage outrage and cruelty. 
This was in 1863. 

More sad and remarkable still was the case of Dr. 
White and family, in 1851. He was on his way to 
California for the health of himself and wife. They 
had come out with a train in safety, when, near Whet- 
stone Creek, he thought he could push on to Santa 
Fe by himself. He had gone but ten miles when 
they were taken by the Apaches, the Doctor and the 
child killed, and Mrs. White taken into a captivity 
worse than death. Mrs. White was a lady from one 
of our large cities, tenderly nurtured, highly edu- 
cated, elegant, and refined. Setting aside any false 
delicacy, I will tell you how she was treated, and, 
understand me, as she, so all white women who fall 
into the hands of these worse than wild beasts in 
human shape. They first " passed her over the prai- 
rie." That is their jocular way of indicating that 
she was successively violated by all the Indians pres- 
ent, and there were some twenty. She was then 
carried off with them. Her fate excited such wide- 
spread sympathy that a party was finally organized, 
and placed under the guidance of Kit Carson, who 
was to rescue her or treat for her ransom. Weeks 
and months had meantime, passed. They finally 
discovered the Indians and surprised them. The 
savages fled, leaving Mrs. White pierced through 
and through with an arrow. It was supposed that, 
hearing the approach of her rescuers, she attempted 
to fly and was instantly shot down. " As God 
would have it," said Kit Carson, who told me of it, 


" As God would have it, she was just dead when 
we reached her ; and perhaps it was as well." Yes, 
it was as well ! The poor lady was wasted, emacia- 
ted, the victim of a foul disease, and bore the sor- 
rows of a life-long agony on her face ; for when a 
woman captive has not the signal good fortune of 
being made the mistress of one savage, she becomes 
the prostitute of the tribe. It might as well be un- 
derstood that this is the lot awaiting the female 
made captive by any Indians west of the Mississippi. 
It is invariable, and the mere statement of outrage 
and violation is but a meagre indication of such a 
woman's sad fate. There is one singular feature 
attending all such cases which I leave the philoso- 
pher, the casuist, or the theologian to explain or jus- 
tify. Whenever the poor creatures so captured and 
outraged are recovered, they invariably deny any 
thing beyond mere hardship and privation. They 
are scarcely ever known to admit any thing more. 
I speak of these matters thus' plainly for the reason 
that there is so much of the false and misplaced 
" Lo ! the poor Indian" philanthropy prevalent. 

I know of no such sudden, thorough, and stanch 
converts in politics, religion, or philosophy as the men 
who come out here and have an opportunity of see- 
ing the Indian as he is. Their Coopers, Chateau- 
briands, and other poetizers of the savage character, 
are then classed, as they should be, with romancers, 
and they see the biped wolf as he is. But to con- 
tinue the sad story of the unfortunate Whites. The 
following year a treaty of peace was made with the 
Apaches, and they received the "whisk" and 
"shoog" (whisky and sugar) for which alone they 
made it. The Apache chief who represented the 


tribe, and who had carried off the unfortunate lady 
we have spoken of, came into our camp on that oc- 
casion appropriately adorned with a necklace made 
of the teeth of the murdered Doctor White ! " Lo ! 
the poor Indian ! " 

Our camp, yesterday evening, was among the 
ruins (new ruins of a structure not old) of Fort 
Nicholson — a cantonment erected by a few compa- 
nies of a California and a New Mexico cavalry reg- 
iment, two years ago, for the protection of this route. 
For a small force, they effected a great deal, and put 
up their quarters, corral, field-work, etc., of stone. 

The remains of the walls, and a grave on the hill, 
covered with a monumental pile of heavy stones to 
protect it from the wolves, and a massive cross of 
rock, with the name of " Barada," private, First New 
Mexico Cavalry, are all that survive their labors. 

Our route is more naked than ever. The bound- 
less sea of plain — more bleak and arid than before 
— tells us we are indeed in the desert. 

We camp to-night on a prairie sward, spread out 
amid an amphitheatre of massive rocks, at whose 
foot wells out one of the four springs on our entire 
route. Land in sight is hardly more grateful to the 
mariner's eye, than a pile of rocks to those who 
have before them the same dead level line day after 

To-day we passed a lame ox, turned adrift by 
some passing train to shift for itself. A floating bit 
of wood in mid ocean could hardly look more hope- 
lessly lost. Not far from the poor beast, I discovered 
a large white wolf — frightened at our approach — 
sneaking off through the grass. The rascal will be 
back soon, with a comrade or two, and then woe be- 


tide the poor ox. They '11 follow and harass him for 
a time, to ascertain his speed and strength, and then, 
gradually, getting bolder with his helplessness, some 
will rush upon him in front, while others hamstring 
him from behind, and then there will be a tearing of 
flesh, a snapping of foul jaws, and a licking of bloody 
lips. Well, reader of delicate sensibilities, they are 
only wolves — wild beasts, who know nothing of hu- 
manity and the gospel. If you want a shock of some 
force, think of the weary, sad, and wayworn you 
have seen struggling along life's highway, with De- 
traction, Envy, and Persecution coming from out their 
lairs to torment and agonize the poor sufferer. The 
torn flesh and gushing blood on the wild prairie, are 
not crunched and lapped with more avidity by the 
wolf, than the sighs, tears, and rent heart-strings of 
the human victim are gloated over by the wolf's civ- 
ilized brother. 

The wolf is not always white. 

I have known him to wear a black coat. 



Camp on Banks of the Cimarron, Kansas, ) 
August 22, 1866. J 

Dating from Kansas, we feel that we are in the 
States — no longer in the Territories — though by no 
means out of the wilderness, for we are on the edge 
of the dreaded Llano Estacado, a slice of which I 
promised you before starting. 

" Banks of the Cimarron " is rather a geographical 
figure of speech. We occasionally see a strip of 
fresh green in a hollow, somewhere hidden in which 
is supposed to be the Cimarron. I can safely say 
that it is not much of a river. 

We meet large trains going into New Mexico ; 
long ropes on both sides of the wagons festooned 
with strips of meat tell the story of buffalo, which 
the teamsters announce as being thick on the Arkan- 
sas. The answer to the question " Shall we see any 
Indians ? " is more explicit than polite : " Yes, a 
d — d sight more than you want to." 

The days grow longer, and with reveille at three 
o'clock, we are on the road before daylight. Wait- 
ing for " boots and saddle " to sound, we cannot 
now, as in June, on the Platte, while away the inter- 
val in watching the brilliant streaks that herald the 
rising sun, but, when the sky is bright, admire the 
stars instead. This morning they were particularly 


brilliant. Procion, just over the horizon; far above, 
Orion's grand belt, with its three central stars form- 
ing a buckle of more than fashionable size — above, 
Aldebaran, the particular friend and " man of all 
work " of the ancient astrologers. Lower down to 
the right, the most brilliant, most magnificent of 
them all, radiating the concentrated glories of a mill- 
ion Koh-i-noors, matchless Sirius. If you take my 
advice, you'll get up the first clear morning at three 
o'clock and take a look at him. 

August 24. 

Two days more of the unvarying horizon line for 
our only prospect. A northeaster has set in with 
rain, mist, and cold ; tents wet, blankets wet, saddles 
wet — wet grass if you prefer to walk. 

I advised you from the Platte, that we had seen an- 
telope, bear, wolf, prairie-dogs, and the usual men- 
agerie of the plains. There was positively nothing 
wanting to complete our happiness but buffalo. 
Well, our happiness is now perfect — we saw buffalo 
to-day. And yet, man never is, but always to be, 
blest. Having seen the buffalo, we are now more 
unhappy then ever, until we hunt and kill him. 
When I say we saw buffalo, I state it very mildly 
indeed. We beheld droves of them — thousands — 
far to the right, but the distance was too great, and 
rain was falling. 

Crossing of the Arkansas Rivkb, ) 
Saturday. August -25, 1866. J 

Last night, in camp, there was a general airing of 
every thing everybody had ever read on the subject 
of buffalo hunts. This morninsf broke in clouds and 
rain ; but about eleven the sky partially cleared, and 
there, in plain sight, about a mile ahead of the col- 

THE HUNT. 273 

umn, were the buffalo. A guide and a hunter imme- 
diately made after them, and artistically drove a 
couple toward the road. Two horsemen, some dis- 
tance in advance of the train, stood ready for them. 
The buffalo kept straight on the course, and moved 
upon their works so effectively that one of the horses 
— a very fine one — incontinently broke, and could 
not be persuaded again to face that music. The 
other cavalier found it expedient to get out of the 
way too, as the animals, rolling and unwieldy, look- 
ing at a distance as you fronted them like two ani- 
mated black balls, their tongues lolling out of their 
mouths, galloped across the road. Now, two men 
are after them ; the guide has fired his first shot : 
presently another strikes the same animal and his 
pace sensibly slackens. Number two now receives 
the leaden compliments — two, three, four. At the 
fifth he turns savagely upon his pursuers, staggers, 
falls, and dies immediately. The larger and fiercer 
of the two bulls still holds out, circling and turning 
at bay, until a ball breaks his backbone. He sinks 
on his haunches, but with head and shoulders erect, 
and eye-balls glaring, he still makes fight. Others 
of our party come up, and twenty-five balls are fired 
into the noble brute before he finally succumbs. 

They were both bulls ; the latter a grand speci- 
men, two years old. The hump and tongue were 
taken off of one, and nearly all the carcass of the 
other brought into camp. The rain appeared to 
have held up expressly for our hunt, for it soon after 
came down harder than ever, and through its misty 
curtain we discovered, a few miles off, a line of low 
hills, and a fringe of green that marks the line of the 
Arkansas River. 



Reaching its banks, we travel down six miles over 
the muddy bottom to take the new crossing. All 
accoutred as we were, we plunged in. The river is 
nearly half a mile wide here, and dangerous from its 
current and quicksand. First went the cavalry and 
other mounted men, then the light vehicles. Reach- 
ing the opposite bank and turning to look, I never 
was so impressed with the simple and effective 
beauty of the curved line. The long train of wag- 
ons made a double bend before reaching the river. 
The line in the stream extended all the way across, 
yielding with the current in the centre so as to pre- 
sent a perfect arch ; then as it reached the bank, it 
wound up the road in another double curve. The 
afternoon was misty, raining, and dark. The clouds 
were sombre. There was no blaze of light, or relief 
of shade on the water or on the landscape, and yet 
the sample elements of the river and the line of wag- 
ons, made up a most graceful and beautiful picture. 

Another night's camp in rain and cold discomfort 
— soldier's life is always gay. 

To-morrow we reach Fort Dodge. 



Fort Labned (on the Arkansas River), | 
August 28, 1866. ) 

As well as I remember, a never-failing dish served 
up at every literary repast prepared by travellers of 
the plains who write their adventures, has been 
" Prairie-dog." I believe I have, thus far, scarcely 
mentioned the animals. In accordance with estab- 
lished custom, it is incumbent upon me to say some- 
thing on the subject, even if it be snarlish. 

Imprimis, then, my objection to prairie-dog is a 
radical one, to wit: he is no dog at all. He has 
nothing in common with the dog. He is of the ro- 
dentia family, has the head, jaws and teeth, nails and 
body of a squirrel ; sits up on his haunches as the 
squirrel does, and handles and nibbles his food in the 
same manner. His bark is not a bark, but more 
like the chirrup of a bird, or the " cheep," " cheep," 
of a ground-squirrel. I at first listened to it for a 
day or two without dreaming it came from a quad- 
ruped. In shape, form, and action he more nearly 
resembles the chipmunk, or ground-squirrel, than 
any animal I know, and is twice or thrice its size. 
His color is a light, dirty, reddish brown. All the 
feet are five toed and provided with long black nails, 
the thumb being armed with a strong conic nail 
three tenths of an inch in length. I measured three 
of them, who were, respectively, fifteen, fifteen and a 


half, and sixteen inches in length. "When caught 
young he is easily tamed, and will follow you about 
like a playful kitten — I say when caught, for the 
catching is not easy. It is useless to shoot at them 
for that purpose, as, if wounded, they always con- 
trive to get into their holes. Hence a popular prai- 
rie fiction, that, in such cases, they are always 
hauled in by their companions. Drowning out is a 
method of getting at them greatly in vogue — not 
always successful, for I have seen several barrels of 
water used without effect. 

Their copartnership or intimacy with owls 1 and 
rattlesnakes is another favorite prairie story. Cer- 
tain it is that these birds and reptiles are very fre- 
quently found about and in the dog-holes. But I 
have an impression, from limited observation, that, 
in the case of the snake, it is a forced partnership, 
and that the owls use the abandoned holes, doing a 
little burrowing in their own peculiar style, by way 
of finish. An officer of our party, missing his little 
son, the other day, found him deeply absorbed in 
trying to induce from out a dog-hole a very large 
rattlesnake, that lay coiled just inside its entrance. 
The innocent little fellow was busy holding out the 
inducement of pieces of bread, which he threw to his 
snakeship. It is needless to remark that the father's 
action in the premises was prompt and decided. 

The killing of rattlesnakes I have scarcely thought 
worth speaking of, it is of such constant occurrence 
on our march. A remarkable one was killed the 
other day, with twenty rattles, measuring five feet 
eight inches in length. It is the only rattlesnake I 

1 The prairie owl found among them is the burrowing owl (Strix cutuo- 
ularia), sometimes called the Coquiinbo owl. 


ever saw of which the skin was covered with scales. 
Whether or not the scales are the result of great age, 
I do not know. So many were in at the death that 
his skin was badly cut with stones and sticks, but a 
middle section of it that was given to the surgeon, 
showed the girth, or circumference, of the reptile to 
be ten inches. 

Mais revenons a nos — chiens. The numbers of 
these so-called dogs on these plains, must be some- 
thing enormous. I feel certain that I am within 
bounds in saying I have seen more than a million 
of their holes this summer. 

I am told that some late letter-writer from the 
plains, reasons that, because he passed through nu- 
merous dog-towns on his way to Denver, the country 
cannot be really destitute of water, although people 
find it impossible to obtain enough for cultivation. 
His remark is repeated to me verbally, and perhaps 
I do not give it with critical correctness ; but the 
idea presented is, that because the prairie-dog finds 
water in places apparently devoid of it, man may 
also find it. 

Now this is begging the question, for he begins by 
taking it for granted that the dogs do find water. 
How does he know that the animal in question 
needs any more water than an occasional rain may 
furnish? How does he know that it needs any 
water at all? A large part if not all of its food, as I 
happen to know from observation, consists of roots 
of grasses, which are full of moisture. These ani- 
mals are found in greatest numbers precisely in the 
dryest, most sterile and barren sections. We passed, 
last week, miles upon miles of dog-towns on a fifty- 
mile Jornada, that is to say, a march of that length. 


on which not a drop of water oan be found, nor has 
been known to exist for half a century, and whole 
towns of them may be seen on the celebrated Llano 
Estacado, or Staked Plain, forty miles from water. 

From the moment of starting in Kansas, all along 
the Platte, across the Arkansas, in the Rocky Mount- 
ains, and as far south as we went in the Valley of 
the Rio Grande, the dove was never out of sight a 
day. Across the desert Cimarron route, however, 
we have not seen one. 

On entering New Mexico, we saw a bird that I 
was not aware existed on this continent, la gazza, as 
the Italians call it (whence the word gazette), I 
mean the magpie, in his suit of black turned up with 

Besides prairie-dogs, there is another misnomer in 
common use, namely, horned frog. The animal is 
not a frog, but a lizard. Empty cigar-boxes are at a 
premium among us just now, to take numerous 
specimens of the little darlings home. They are en- 
tirely harmless and not at all repulsive to look at, 
with their soff, diminutive, expressive eyes, and 
hands like those of an infinitesimal baby. 

I do not know that I can better exemplify the 
change of base in our interest in the animal kingdom 
of this region, than by relating part of a conversation 
I heard this morning on the confines of the Ethiopia 
of our camp : — 

First colored person — "Jim, quick, look da ; see 
dat prarer-dog ? " 

Second colored person — " Sha, nigga ; go 'long 
wid you ole prarer-dog ; we 's got buffalo now." 

Yes, we have buffalo now, and don't concern our- 
selves with such small deer as prairie-dog. 


Yesterday we had another handsome run with the 
buffalo, starting two large bulls quite close to the 
road. To look at them running, you would suppose 
their speed was contemptible. Their gait is un- 
gainly, resembling more nearly the lope of a pig than 
that of any animal I can recall. With their noses 
close to the ground, they keep steadily on, and only 
begin to run their best, when you expect to see them 
tire out. You change your mind as to their speed 
when you try one with your horse at his best gait. 
The embarrassments of an amateur buffalo hunter 
are varied, and not limited in number. As a general 
thing, his horse objects to the buffalo — dislikes him, 
in short, and is with difficulty persuaded to face him, 
although he may follow well enough. The moment 
the buffalo turns, your horse is off, and it may be 
well for you to look out that you are not off too. 
Indeed, with half a dozen bullets in him, his awful 
drapery of shaggy hair, eyes glaring, blood dripping 
from his jaws, the buffalo bull is not a pleasant ob- 
ject for a horse to look upon, much less to get near. 
He is full of fight, and shows it while he has power 
left to move a muscle. Well, our two bulls were 
run down and killed by four or five of our party in 
about forty minutes. One of them was a noble 
specimen, some twelve years old, very large, measur- 
ing nine feet in length and six in height. When he 
turned at bay, he was a truly grand spectacle. 
With such horses as the Indians have, the sport is 
much finer. The horse knows the buffalo nearly as 
well as his rider, and will dash up at full speed close 
to his side, giving the hunter all the time needed to 
put his shot in the desired place — just behind the 
shoulder. It certainly is as glorious and exhilarating 


sport as any thing in hunting can be, for even the 
fresh, untrained horses, when recovered from their 
first terror, enter warmly into the sport and fairly 
tremble with the excitement. 

To-day, another buffalo hunt of a singular descrip- 
tion. Our camp is situated on the declivity of a hill 
looking south toward the Arkansas. About half an 
hour before sunset, some one near me cried out 
" buffalo," and although I supposed it to be a joke, I 
looked up, and sure enough, there was a buffalo just 
below the crest of the hill coming toward us. The 
animal stopped, turned, looked bewildered for a mo- 
ment, and began to run back. Meantime half a 
dozen rifles and revolvers were grasped, and by dint 
of heading off, and wounding it, the poor beast was 
actually run down and shot by half a dozen men on 
foot. It was a young buffalo cow. Poor, misguided, 
giddy thing. Strayed from the herd,' and, doubtless, 
endeavoring to make its way across the river, to 
which its instinct was unerringly guiding it. 

August 29, 1866. 

Ah! don't talk to us any more of buffalo, if you 
please. We are completely blase. Another beauti- 
ful run yesterday after a herd of eight or ten, led off 
by a patriarchal bull. We ran them so far from the 
train that it was useless butchery to kill a large ani- 
mal, for we could not take its carcass. A full grown 
bull calf was therefore selected, and with some diffi- 
culty shot, as it kept very close to its dam. It fell, 
and on walking up to finish it with a pistol shot, the 
fellow not a little astonished us by springing to its 
feet and making viciously at the hunter. He then 
turned and ran a short distance, when one or two 


more shots brought him down. The fellow cut up 
very handsomely, and gave us a good idea of prairie 

And now our buffalo hunting is closed for the sea- 
son. The bulls may roar me as gentle as any suck- 
ing dove, yet they shall not entice a single shot from 
revolver or Spencer. Several of our party who passed 
over this route frequently, between 1851 and 1857, 
inform us that at that time, these immense plains, 
stretching in every direction around us, were covered 
with the buffalo — to such an extent, indeed, as fre- 
quently to impede the progress of trains. That vast 
numbers have been killed here is evident, for the road 
is a perfect buffalo Golgotha — or place of skulls — 
their short, thick, curved horns enabling you readily 
to distinguish their heads from those of the domestic 
ox. This reminds me of another and more interest- 
ing anatomical difference. The stomach of the horse, 
an animal built for running, differs from that of the 
ox — in being attached or hung to the vertebra, or 
back-bone. The stomach of the buffalo is also hung 
like that of the horse. There are one or two other 
interesting points of difference between the domestic 
and wild ox, all having reference to their adaptation 
for running. 

As we proceed, for miles and miles on the north 
bank of the Arkansas, all the way from the Cimar- 
ron crossing to Fort Larned, the prairie is indented 
with thousands of deeply worn paths, the track of 
the buffalo toward the river. But few of these paths 
are fresh. The buffalo is fast going. The years may 
be numbered in which he will disappear. Men are 
now living, probably, who will see the last of them. 
The Indian and white man are now both engaged in 


his destruction. Every wagon we see is festooned 
with strips of his flesh ; and to the Indian he is meat, 
clothing, and lodging, — many of their teepees, or 
tents, being composed of eight or ten skins. The 
piles of buffalo calf-skins brought in to the traders 
by the Indians, form another index of rapidity of 
destruction. The Indians appear to kill the very 
smallest calves, obtaining not more than fifteen or 
twenty cents for the skin. 

Bands of six tribes, Arrapahoes, Caddoes, Chey- 
ennes, Apaches, Kioways, and Camanches, sold at 
Fort Larned during the season of 1863-4, fifteen 
thousand (15,000) buffalo robes, worth $9 by the bale 
at wholesale. They received for them, from the 
traders, at the rate of seventy-five cents per robe, in 
brass wire or other trinkets, two dollars in groceries, 
and less in dry-goods. 

It is thought the buffalo and the Indian will disap- 
pear together, but it would not be heart-rending if 
the Indian went first. 


Fort Ellsworth (on the Smoky Hill Fork), i 
Kansas, September 1, 1860. J 

" Ye gentel salvage," being the bane and terror of, 
and almost sole obstacle to, the rapid settlement of 
New Mexico, merits special mention in a separate 
letter. I shall, of course, confine my remarks to the 
tribes infesting that Territory, and to those Indian 
nations of the great plains, who are "lions in the 
path " on their highways. 

The four principal tribes known in New Mexico 
are the Navajoes, the Apaches, the Utes or Utahs, 
and the Camanches. 

The Navajoes are, to some extent, Arizona Indians, 
and the home of a part of them only is in New Mex- 
ico. They occupy a country some two hundred (200) 
miles in extent, north and south, and more than four 
hundred (400) miles from east to west. The whole 
Territory of New Mexico, however, is their favorite 
" stamping-ground," their granary, store-house, and 
treasury. From their numbers, aptness for war, su- 
periority in agriculture and manufacture to other 
Indians, this tribe has ever been the most formidable 
enemy and scourge of the New Mexicans. For 
nearly two hundred years they have waged an al- 
most ceaseless war, or levied black mail upon the 
poor inhabitants. Possessing immense herds of 
mules and cattle, thousands of horses and 500,000 
sheep, and cultivating extensive fields, they were 
accustomed to prey upon the Mexicans to enrich 


themselves, and not merely, as did the other In- 
dian tribes, to escape starvation. Numbering up- 
wards of 12,000, secure in the fastnesses of their 
mountain home in the Cordilleras range, near the 
point where' the waters of the Rio Colorado of the 
West head, nearly two hundred miles from the val- 
ley of the Rio Grande, they sallied forth for raid and 
rapine when it pleased them, and returned booty- 
laden to their safe retreat. Under the old Spanish 
regime, such vigorous measures were from time to 
time taken, that treaties of several years' endurance 
were obtained. But under the Mexican government 
they had things their own way, and electing by turns 
peace, pillage, pelf, or plunder, freely took what they 
wanted — treasures or teams, flocks or females. 

Since 1846, under successive American officers, a 
Navajoe campaign came regularly with each suc- 
ceeding year, followed — under instructions from our 
Government — by the inevitable and perennial treaty. 
With the handful of troops under their command, 
tliey all — Doniphan, Washington, Sumner, Bonne- 
ville, and Canby — doubtless did their best. When 
hard pushed, the savage invariably asked for a treaty, 
which, with the chronic imbecility of our manage- 
ment of Indian affairs, was sure to be granted, and 
just as certainly broken. The Navajoes had their 
Talleyrands and their Metternichs as well as their 
betters. How profoundly they regretted what had 
occurred — how ardently they desired the resump- 
tion of these amicable relations, etc., mutual re- 
spect, profound consideration, etc., and all the other 
verbose stock in trade of diplomacy — they could set 
forth as handsomely and as hypocritically as a Prus- 
sian protocol. " Some bad young men of the tribe 


had committed this robbery, or that murder, and their 
heads" — to wit, the heads of the ambassadors — 
" were bowed down with grief. Other treaties had 
been broken, but this treaty — ah, this treaty — 
should be kept sincerely. You shall see." 

Well, we did see. Finally, General Carleton, an 
officer of superior military and administrative talents, 
broke up the time-consecrated farce of treaty. Soon 
after he assumed command in New Mexico, an emi- 
nently respectable deputation of eighteen Navajoe 
chiefs, with 'keen perspective of indefinite presents, 
called upon him to know if he would not make a 
treaty. The General is from the State of New 
Hampshire, and characteristically answered their 
question with another question: — 
" What do you want of a treaty ? " 
" That we may hereafter have peace." 
" Well, then," was the unexpected reply, " go home, 
stay there, attend to your own affairs, commit no 
more robberies nor murders upon this people, and 
you have peace at once, without the trouble of a 
treaty. Treaties," the General further informed 
them, " appeared to confuse matters, and involved 
the double labor to the Navajoes of making and of 
breaking them They (the Navajoes) well knew that 
they never kept them, and he (the General) was not 
a child to be beguiled by them. Now," he contin- 
ued, " go ; and if you rob or murder any of this peo- 
ple, so surely as the sun rises, you shall have a war 
you may not soon forget." 

Navajoe, discomfited, said he had never been 
treated that way before. Refused a treaty ! Was 
such a thing ever heard of? They were good In- 
dians though. They would return to their country, 
and try to persuade their young men to behave. 


The result was, that in a few weeks the robbery 
and murder of Mexicans began again. Then came a 
Navajoe message that a large portion of them were 
peaceably disposed. This was in the spring of 1863. 
General Carleton sent them word that, as they all 
lived together, he could not distinguish friends from 
foes ; that those who claimed to be friendly should 
come out from among the others, and go to the 
Bosque Redondo, a large and beautiful tract of land 
forty miles square, with six thousand acres of arable 
land, on the Pecos River, where they should be cared 
for and allowed to want for nothing. Indian reply 
was not polite, but it was perfectly intelligible. Not 
a Navajoe would come. 

Another missive from the General, that they had 
better consider the matter more maturely. They 
might have until the 20th of July, with the door of 
peace left wide open. Once closed, it should never 
again be opened. But the Navajoes said they had 
heard "big talk" before that meant nothing; had 
listened years ago to cry of wolf that came not. And 
they scouted the soldier's warning. 

True to his promise, the war opened on the very 
day set by General Carleton, July 20, 1863. A reg- 
iment of New Mexicans, with more than a century 
of accumulated wrong and oppression to avenge, 
were at once placed under the command of a man 
who understood his Indian well — Kit Carson. These 
troops knew neither summer rest nor winter quarters ; 
but pursued the Indian foe relentlessly month after 
month, night and day, over mesas and deserts and 
rivers, under broiling suns and the rough winter 
snows, killing and capturing them in their most 
chosen retreats, until finally, broken and dispirited 


under a chastisement, the like of which they had never 
dreamed of, small bands began to come in volunta- 
rily, then larger ones, and finally, groups of fifties and 
hundreds, nearly comprising the strength of the tribe. 
The prisoners, as fast as received, were dispatched 
to the Bosque Redondo, and those who remained 
in arms sent out white flags in vain. Throughout 
1864, 1865, and the present year, the war went on 
under these conditions, and the result is that some 
eight thousand Navajoes, including a few Apaches, 
are now living peaceably at the Bosque, engaged in 
agriculture and manufactures, four hundred miles 
from their old homes, and ninety miles east of the 
Rio Grande settlement. 

Farming utensils, seed, grain, and everything neces- 
sary has been furnished by the government, and the 
experiment is a decided success. 

Among the articles made by these Indians are pot- 
tery, iron bits, ropes, saddles, and blankets. These 
latter are beautiful textile fabrics, so admirably woven 
as to shed water as well as a gum-elastic, and won- 
derfully handsome in color and design. 

While we were in Santa Fe one of the Navajoes 
died, and we witnessed an instance of their peculiar 
ideas and treatment of the dead. They have no 
such thing as burial among them. Whenever a 
Navajoe is aware that death approaches, he crawls 
off as far as he can out of sight, among the rocks 
and bushes, and there lies down and dies, unheeded, 
uncared for, and unburied. If death overtakes one 
in a wigwam, he, or she, is immediately deserted and 
left alone, the entrance closed up, the hut (built of 
sticks and clay) abandoned, and left to fall in from 


The Indian who died would have been left by his 
companions on the road long before reaching here, 
if they had been allowed to do so by our troops. Id 
the morning, when death was found to be approach- 
ing, he was stripped by the others of every thing he 
had on, then smeared all over with mud, and left to 
himself, none of his companions taking the slightest 
notice of him. Soon afterward he turned over, 
groaned, and died. A momentary thrill passed 
through the camp. A little Indian girl went to the 
fire, took ashes, strewed them in a wide circle about 
the body. This line not one of them would approach, 
and even the smallest children shrank from it in their 
play. Presently came a cart to take away the body. 

Two of the largest Indians were ordered to lift 
the corpse into the cart. They recoiled with expres- 
sions of horror and disgust, and sought to get away. 
Compelled to do it by threats (one of them only 
touching it, the other pretending to do so, but avoid- 
ing actual contact), the body was dragged on its face 
over the ground and thrown into the cart. 


Except in numbers, and in ability for destruction 
and murder, the Apaches are inferior to the Nava- 
joes. They are vagabonds, and, unlike the Nava- 
joes, to whom, nevertheless, they are closely related 
by lineage and by language, have neither sheep, 
flocks, herds, or houses. Their range extends down 
into Old Mexico, and they have for a century held 
under tribute the provinces of Sonora, Durango, 
Chihuahua, and even Coahuila. Those east of the 
Rio Grande are called Mescaleros, from their use of 
mescal, the baked root of the Agave americana. A 


small tribe in the north of New Mexico are the Jic- 
arillas (Little-baskets), so called from their manu- 
facture of the article. There is also a tribe on the 
Gila. Some five hundred Mescaleros have been 
captured, and taken to the Bosque, but they are 
comparatively unmanageable, and prone to escape 
to their old haunts. 

The Jicarillas have been greatly reduced in num- 
bers by the ravages of the small-pox, and the rem- 
nant are addicted to drinking and gambling. In an- 
swer to the persuasions of officers and agents to go 
to the Bosque, they reply that God, from the begin- 
ning, had ordained whites to be tillers of the soil, 
while they, the Jicarillas should follow the chase 
and the war-path. Unfortunately they consider vag- 
abondizing, begging, and stealing, as " the chase." 

The Mescaleros and Jicarillas together number 
about 3000 souls. 

The Utes, known in New Mexico, are found in 
the mountains north of Taos, and frequently come 
on to the plains to hunt. They are known as the 
Western Utes or Utahs, namely, Capotes and Win- 
nemuches. They number in all about 2000. At 
present, and for some time past, they claim to be 
friendly. An incident of late occurrence, will show 
the extreme difficulty of keeping any sort of terms 
with these savages, even the best disposed. While 
we were at Fort Union, two weeks since, a flock of 
sheep, guarded by the usual pastor, a Mexican lad, 
was set upon by a small party of these Utes. They 
wanted but one sheep, which they killed and took, 
having killed two others wantonly, which were left 
on the ground. Immediately afterward, came an- 
other Indian, the son of Kaniatse, the Ute chief, 



who also wanted a sheep. The Mexican told him 
to take one of those just killed by his comrades. 
No — he would kill another. The Mexican said he 
should not — the young Ute drew an arrow on him, 
and immediately the Mexican shot him. 

This occurred on the Little Cimarron, some fifty 
miles from Fort Union. The herdsman fled to the 
fort for protection, and while we were there, old 
Kaniatse, accompanied by a dozen of his warriors, 
among whom were two of his sons, brothers of the 
one just killed, came in. Their demand was, simply, 
that the Mexican should be delivered up to them. 
They wanted to hear nothing of provocation or jus- 
tification. Blood of one of theirs had been shed, and 
they must have the Mexican. I was present at the 
interview between them and the commanding of- 
ficer. Old Kaniatse appeared to be not unreasona- 
ble, but the two sons could scarcely restrain them- 
selves. I never saw so much devilish passion painted 
on a human face. A large group gathered around, 
and while the council was progressing, one of the 
negro servants imprudently walked up to the younger 
son, and took hold of a pouch he wore, to examine 
it. The Indian clenched his lips, and his eyes flashed 
fire. He would, if he had dared, have driven a knife 
through him. The moment the negro let go the 
pouch, the Indian, with a look of concentrated spite, 
tore off every particle of the beautiful fur and beads 
the black boy had touched. While we remained at 
the fort, four days, the parley was still going on, it 
being thought best to prolong it, and let the savage 
passion cool. One circumstance, it was thought, 
had a decidedly healthy effect upon their understand- 
ing. While they were there a full regiment of in- 


fantry and another of regular cavalry came in, and 
encamped near the fort. These, added to our large 
train, made a more imposing military force than these 
Indians had ever beheld, and old Kaniatse was heard 
to say, indicating the different camps, " Soldados, 
soldados, soldados, todos soldados." I do not know 
the result of their mission, but it is more than proba- 
ble they went off pacified with a few presents. 

The Kioways have the reputation, and doubtless 
deserve it, of being the most rapacious, cruel, and 
treacherous of all the Indians of the plains. They 
range, mainly, south of the Arkansas, on the Cana- 
dian, and south to the Rio Grande, and have even 
extended their robbing excursions as far as Chihua- 
hua. I saw a large number of them about Fort 
Larned. Black Eagle, one of their chiefs, came into 
our camp, accompanied by his squaw, and a couple 
of other copper-colored rascals. They were sharp at 
a trade, and particularly desired to obtain a revolver 
or two, which, of course, they did not get. The 
squaw, an enormously large woman, mounted her 
horse with perfect ease and rapidity, riding — as do 
all these squaws — man-fashion. These Kiowahs 
have the credit of influencing the Camanches to do 
whatever they suggest. Several traders told me that 
as the Kioway goes, so goes the Camanche ! 


In 1863, some four hundred Kioways assembled 
about Fort Larned, ostensibly to trade, and to hold 
some festivity. An Indian trader who understood 
them, warned the commander of the post that there 
was mischief brewing, but he paid no attention to it. 
In the afternoon, when the herds of horses, mules, 


and cattle were driven up to be corraled for the 
night, the savages mounted, drove away the guard, 
and went off with some three hundred head of valu- 
able cattle. The year following, Commissioners 
from Washington made a treaty with them, by 
which they were assured in their title to all the 
stolen property. Immediately after the treaty they 
came in and sold to the very owners from whom 
they had stolen them, the same animals, at exorbi- 
tant prices. 

Can it be wondered that they look at you with a 
defiant, insolent air ? And yet this sort of Indian 
treaty is common. They are scarcely ever made to 
feel the strong arm of retribution. 

Once, indeed, they were. On the 25th of Novem- 
ber, 1864, Colonel Christopher Carson, First Regiment 
New Mexico Cavalry Volunteers, with a command 
of three hundred men and seventy-five Ute and Ap- 
ache Indians, attacked one of their villages (one hun- 
dred and fifty lodges), near the Adobe Fort, on the 
Canadian River, in Texas, and after a severe fight, 
lasting all day, drove them, with a loss of sixty killed 
and wounded, and captured all their lodges, provisions, 
and plunder of every description, including a buggy 
and spring-wagon stolen by them the year before at 
Fort Larned. Our loss was two soldiers killed, and 
ten soldiers and four Utes wounded. 

The Camanches are formidable in numbers (ten 
thousand), bravery, and superior horsemanship. Their 
range extends throughout Texas, and from the Rio 
Grande to the Arkansas, wintering usually about the 
head waters of the Colorado and the Brazos. They 
have for long years been the scourge of the eastern 
border of both Old and New Mexico. 



My last itinerary letter brought us over the Arkan- 
sas, at the Cimarron Crossing. There we all, like 
unto Mantalini, made " moist, unpleasant bodies " 
of ourselves at that crossing in the rain. 

Then, not a splinter of wood in camp to dry our- 
selves or our clothes. Sent up to a miserable hut 
over the hill. " Have you any wood to sell ? " ' 

« Yes." 

" How much ? " 

" Ten cents a pound." 

We did n't purchase. Rather a startling price for 
the article in the western wilds of America ; but 
they have to haul it thirty miles, and the supply is 
small. No fire for ourselves, no corn for our mules 
and horses, and chilled through with the persistent 
northeast rain of four days and nights, no wonder 
we were grumbly, gruff, and grim. 

The pores even of my memory were so frozen that 
I forgot to mention two notable points of interest on 
our road, some two days' travel from the river. 
These are the " Battle-ground " and the " Bone-yard." 
The first was the scene of on Indian surprise and 
fight between, it is said, a party of Gros Ventres 
(although I can hardly understand what they were 
doing so far from their home at the Great Bend of 
the Upper Missouri, having to traverse nearly the 


length of Dakotah and the entire breadth of Nebraska 
and Kansas,) and a party of Mexican traders under 
escort of a detachment of Mexican troops. The 
Mexican officer commanding, Colonel Vizcarra, 
trusted the Indians, one hundred and twenty in 
number, in his camp, against the advice of the 
Americans, and with his life paid his confidence in 
them. The Indians were routed and pursued, and 
many of them killed. This was in 1829. 

The Bone-yard history is of later date. A large 
train or caravan of wagons crossed the Arkansas, in 
the autumn, bound for Santa Fe, and at this point 
was stopped by a heavy snow-storm that effaced the 
track and destroyed the grass. The traders could go 
neither backward nor forward, and there spent the 
winter, losing their animals by frost and starvation, 
and burning their wagons, one by one, for fuel. 
Some of the teamsters also perished, and, in the 
spring, piles of goods and the surviving men were 
all that were left of the stately train. A large pile 
or pyramid of bones still stand there to mark the 

Some eight miles below Fort Dodge, we pass the 
ruins of old Fort Atkinson. Fort Dodge is simply a 
a small assemblage of mud hovels, close to the bank 
of the river, in a low, damp spot, neither as salubri- 
ous nor as commanding as the adjoining hill-side — 
a preferable position on every account. 

Our road being on the north bank of the Arkan- 
sas, we could distinctly see, on the other side, large 
bands of buffalo coming down to water, or quietly 
feeding on the distant hills. 

Leaving Fort Lamed, we quit the river and take 
over the high praiiie land. And now — oh charm 


to the eye, that none but a plains' wayfarer can 
truly enjoy ! — fringes and belts of green trees are 
ever visible on our horizon, increasing in number, 
size, and beauty, as we progress. 

Fort Zarah, although plainly indicated on the 
maps, is among the things of the past. A few 
charred timbers, and the graves of some volunteers 
who died at the post, are all that remain of it. Two 
Indian traders, occupying strong store-houses, are 
here; and apparently drive a thriving business with 
the Arrapahoes, Cheyennes, and Kioways. They 
made quite a tempting display of buffalo, antelope 
wolf, and wildcat skins, many of which found pur- 
chasers among our party. Four Arrapahoe lodges 
were pitched close by. One of them, new and just 
put up, was a favorable specimen of Indian high art. 
It was made of five handsomely dressed buffalo- 
skins, pictorially ornamented with sketches of In- 
dian war and hunting scenes. The pale face also 
had honorable mention in this lodge gallery. The' 
white man was represented, appareled in a long-tail 
blue, revolver in hand, and a stage-coach, startling 
in its perspective, appears full of passengers in in- 
credible attitudes. The term Pre-Raphaelite but 
feebly indicates its shade and perspective. The ar- 
tist was a squaw. 

Some American ladies are said to have derived 
valuable knowledge from the lectures and demon- 
strations in culinary chemistry of Monsieur Blot, and 
various husbands are said to find home more pleas- 
ant in consequence thereof. Other American ladies, 
however, have not heard Monsieur Blot's lectures, nor 
indeed, even his name, and even if they had, would 
have made light of his science, scorning to serve 


up any foreign " kickshaws " whatever — not even a 
supreme de volatile, if they knew what that was. 
Some of this latter class we saw to-day "on house- 
hold cares intent," making culinary and gastronomic 
demonstrations as purely American and as utterly 
untainted by any foreign influence as the fiercest 
Know- Nothing could possibly desire. 

Thus it was : — 

Period of prandial repast present, Princess of Ar- 
rapahoe persuasion appears at portal of pelt palace 
and pensively pounces on plump pachyderm puppy, 
prone on the prairie. She does not pet puppy (for, 
though not a pug, he is no Prince Charles), but, on 
the contrary, quite the reverse — knocks him on the 
head. At which, pernio post, without palaver, after 
prompt pause of perpension, puppy expires passive, 
with protest of propulsive pedals. 

Lady Arrapahoe then picks him up, and, with an 
O'li puer apparatus 
air, deposits him on the live coals, in all his hirsute, 
integumental, and intestinal integrity. There lay 
puppy, more placid than Guatimozin, until, judged 
sufficiently done on one side, he was turned over on 
the other by foot of fair Arrapahoe. And thus he 
scorched, and roasted, and baked, and fried, and 
puffed up, and swelled up, and frizzled, and sizzled 
(the children use that word — it's a good one), and 
frothed at the mouth, until, black as a cinder, he is 
kicked out on the grass by fair pedal aforesaid, hair 
and coals scraped off, and — Madame est servie — 
the banquet is spread ! 

Now, I have affronted dangers, forded rivers, and 
scaled mountains, to edify and instruct my dear 
readers, but really, upon my gastronomic honor, I 


had not the stom — that is, I mean — I had an en- 
gagement, and could not stay for the feast. They 
may depend upon it, though, from reliable information 
not at all contraband, that the intestinal integrity 
was preserved until destroyed by the Arrapahoe bons 
vivants, gastronomers, and sybarites present, who 
that day " piled in " on poor puppy. 

Next day, August 31, thirty-two miles to Plum 
Creek. Here a ranche — first house seen. Creeks, 
trees, and foliage increase in size, number, and 
beauty. We had found our buffalo — had hunted 
him, had killed him. We had seen our Indian male 
in the chase and in a swap ; female ditto in the 
charming sphere of her domestic duties, preparing 
with her lovely hands choice dainties for the festive 
board ; and now, positively nothing was wanting to 
complete our happiness but a " prairie on fire." 
And lo ! as though we wore the cap of Fortunatus, 
here it was. As we drew near our place of encamp- 
ment in the afternoon the atmosphere had an un- 
commonly dark and heavy look, and as night ap- 
proached and fell, we more plainly distinguished the 
column of thick smoke, and the masses of lurid 
flame, rolling, forked and dancing, miles away. 

Saline River, Kansas, September 1, 1863. 

We left Fort Ellsworth this morning. With the 
exception of General Palmer, commanding, there ap- 
peared to be no officers present. Absent, probably, 
on detached service. 

Falling asleep last night while listening to the 
barks and yelps of the coyote, or prairie-wolf, and 
dreaming of running a pack of them on the prairie, 
we are suddenly and pleasantly awakened by a swell 


and burst of rich harmony on the night air. As we 
become conscious it is music, the joyous song of the 
merry '• Barber of Seville " awakens the echoes of 
the hills : — 

" Bravo, bravissimo, Figaro, bravo ! 
Tutti me chiedono, 
Tutti me vogliono, 
Son barbiere di qualita, 
Tra la, la, la, la, la, la ' " 

It was the band of the Second Cavalry serenading 
our General. Then came familiar airs that told us 
of those we love at home. And so I fell asleep and 
dreamed I was there. 

Saw a large and well-constructed derrick to-day, 
that set us asking if they had struck oil here, too. 
Found, on inquiry, that in boring for fresh they had 
come upon large supplies of salt water. Saline is, 
therefore, a common name, and we pass through 
a town and camp on a river so called. The village 
was a refreshing sight — our first town for eight hun- 
dred miles. Houses, glimpses of rooms, families at 
meals, glances at centre-tables, flowers in the win- 
dow, chickens, cows, little girl driving a flock of 
geese, children going to school — all were so many 
beautiful pictures to us, whose eyes had seen quite 
enough of the bald plain and savage life. 

And now our yellow dust changes to black (Re- 
publican), in the rich soil of Southern Kansas. 
Houses and farms grow thicker ; the prairie sward 
is turned up in gigantic folds all around us ; the 
prairie-hen, or grouse — the bird of the frontier, as 
the quail is the bird of the settlements — springs up 
with a heavy whir-r on every side; huge horse- 
mowers, whose hum sing the song of Progress, are 
seen in the fields ; we meet people whose home is 


evidently not far off; women and children go by in 
wagons, as if bound for church or a neighborly visit. 
We are in the settlements. When the war began, 
all this region was a howling wilderness ; now the 
land is all taken up in farms and homes, and the 
railroad, as fast as it goes, has not yet succeeded in 
getting beyond the border wave of the surging tide 
of civilization. 

Three miles west of Fort Riley we pass through 
Junction City, to which point the railroad is, nomi- 
nally, completed, although not yet running. City 
sounds, perhaps, a little premature, but, with redund- 
ant stores, all the mechanical arts, handsome build- 
ings of brick, and one of the finest architectural 
qualities of stone I have ever seen, I strongly suspect 
that Junction nurses secret dreams of metropolis. 

Without reference to its military fitness, the site 
of Fort Riley is one of great beauty. Seen from its 
commanding position, the Republican and Smoky 
Hill Forks, here united, form the Kaw or Kansas 
River, one of the most picturesque streams in the 
country. A lovely valley, dotted with mills, hamlets, 
and villages, spreads out before you, and you might 
almost imagine yourself gazing down a long stretch 
of the Connecticut River. 

St. Louis, September 10, 1866. 

From Fort Riley — you see we have caught sight 
and sound of home, and are hurrying to reach it — 
we take carriage to Waumega, thirty miles, passing, 
half way, Manhattan, a flourishing town at the 
mouth of the Big Blue, which river we pass over on 
a crazy cross between a scow and a floating bridge. 
Manhattan is the present freight, and Waumega the 


passenger terminus of the route. At the latter place, 
we find depot, eating-houses, trains of cars, and other 
appliances of railroad civilization, to which our eyes 
had been strangers for months. We find, also, other 
things that our eyes were total strangers to, as, for 
instance, the last new fashion in bonnets — a sweet 
thing. A gushing young Waumegienne came into 
the car bearing on her chignon of mo — silk — horse 
— and other hair, a table-mat, for nothing else could 
we make of it — made of black straw, slightly drawn 
up at the corners and tied on with ribbon. The 
Navajoe and Cheyenne ladies we had lately seen 
wore nothing like that! We were enchanted. 

A beautiful country is Kansas — rich soil, fine 
timber, plentiful streams. We pass through the 
Pottawattomie Reserve, and at St. Mary's see troops 
of Indian boys at play in the school-yard. 

Back at Fort Ellsworth, we struck the myriad 
armies of grasshoppers, and although travelling rap- 
idly for days, have only here just reached their van- 
guard. It is sad to witness the destruction and 
havoc they cause. On the thick, boundless prairie- 
grass they make no impression perceptible to the 
eye ; but once the corn-fields and gardens reached, 
you would suppose a fire had swept over them. 
Some particular species of forest trees, too, they 
strip from root to topmost branch. 

The vanguard flies thick and high, going in a line 
due east so rapidly that I should suppose the end of 
this month would carry them to the Mississippi. 

A day or two to report at Fort Leavenworth and 
we come here by Leavenworth, Kansas City, and 
Hermann, with all which you are already familiar, 
and need no description of — come, I say, into the 


jaws of destruction — for here King Death now 
holds high revel. 

" He sat where no sun could shine, 
And lifted his hand so yellow, 
And poured out his coal-black wine. 

Hurra! Hurra! 
Hurra for the coal-black wine ! 

" All came to the royal old fellow, 
Who laughed till his eyes ran brine, 
And he lifted his hand so yellow, 
And pledged them in Death's black wine. 

Hurra! Hurra! 
Hurra for the coal-black wine ! " 

I heard the surgeon of our party, a man in the 
prime of life, perfectly healthy and robust, caution 
one of us who was ailing, not to stay here a day. 
" It was," he said, " too great a risk to run." Poor fel- 
low. He was taken off last night after a few hours' 
illness, and to-day we bury him! — Sit sibi terra 
levis ! 

And now, kind reader, farewell ! For omissions, 
commissions, and short-comings, I crave your indul- 


I have since examined Major Long's account of his 
expedition in 1819, in order to ascertain if any similar ex- 
perience befell his party. Here is his description of their 
approach to the Rocky Mountains, at a point about one 
hundred miles north of where Denver now stands : — 

" From our camp we had expected to be able to ascend the most distant 
summits then in sight and return the same evening; but night overtook us, 
and we found ourselves scarcely arrived at the base of the mountain." 


I find my calculation, and the fact that the Peak is visi- 
ble at the distance specified, both confirmed by the follow- 
ing passage in Major Long's Journal, Friday, July 28th, 
1819: — 

" From an elevated point, about eight miles south of our encampment of 
last evening, the high peak was still visible when we passed this morning. 
From a computation of our courses and distances, we find we cannot, ac- 
cording to our estimate, be less than 130 miles distant from its base." 

And on the 29th, after a long day's journey, he says : — 

" We again caught a view of the distant summits of the Andes appear- 
ing on the verge of our horizon." 


Two bottles of the Bernalillo wine referred to were sent 
to the Wine Growers' Association of Cincinnati. 


From their published proceedings the following report 

upon it is extracted : — 

" Wine Growers' Association. — The Wine Growers' Association 
held its monthly meeting on Saturday, November 24, President Graham in 
the chair. The Secretary being absent the minutes of the last meeting were 
not read. 

" Two bottles of wine presented by Col. J. F. Meline, which the Colonel 
procured in the valley of the Rio Grande, from a vineyard of Bernalillo. 
White wine, vintage of 1861; vote 90. No. 2, a red wine; 81. 

" A unanimous vote of thanks was given by the Society to the gallant 
Colonel for his present. 
"Adjourned to meet the last Saturday in December next. 


" Secretary pro tem." 

Accompanying the report was a letter from the Presi- 
dent of the Association (George Graham, Esq.), stating 
that the wine was pronounced pure, and that the white 
wine was considered better than most wines of the same 
age, either of Catawba or good Rhine wine. " We judge 
wines," he says, "by figures marked up to 100, which is the 
highest character of wine of any kind. Your bottle of 
white wine was marked 90. Most of our Ohio wine does 
not reach the excellence of the wine presented by you." 


The illustrious Alexander Von Humboldt bears honora- 
ble testimony to Pike's merits and labors. He says, — 

" I,e voyage recent de Monsieur Zebulon M. Pike dans les provinces sep- 
tentrionales de Mexique renferme des notions precieuses sur les rivieres La 
Platte et Arkansas ainsi que sur la haute chaine des montagnes qui sV-tend 
au nord du Nouveau Mexique vers les sources de ces deux rivieres. Mon- 
sieur Pike a d ploy£ an noble courage dans une entreprise importante pour 
la connaissance de la Louisiane occidentale." See Introduction, page 22. 
Voyage aux Regions Equinoxialet du Nouveau Continent fait en 1799, 
1800, 1801, 1802, 180-3, et 180 1, par Alexandre de Humboldt et A. Bonpland 
r'digi'- par Alexandre de Humboldt, 3 vols, quarto, Paris, Dufour, 1814. 



The maps of that day were not only very defective, 
but even so incorrect as totally to mislead. A remarkable 
instance of this may be found in Arrowsmith's " New Map 
of Mexico," published in 1805. Mr. Arrowsmith's labors 
in the department of Geography were justly celebrated, 
and the map of Mexico in question was prepared from 
original documents. He confounds in it the Oregon of 
the North with the Colorado of the West, and this singular 
mistake was the result of a still more singular blunder. 
He found on Don Antonio Alzate's map of Mexico, at the 
junction of the Rio Gila and the Rio Colorado, these words 
in Spanish, " Rio Colorado o del Norte cuyo origen se ig- 
nora" (whose source is not known). Alzate's map being 
imperfectly engraved, and nothing but origen distinct, Mr. 
Arrowsmith hastily confounded the Colorado with the Ore- 
gon, and in his engraved map the Colorado of the West 
figures as " The Oregon." 

It may be remarked in this connection, that the identity 
of the Oregon with the Columbia was not settled until 
1823. Even Humboldt considered it questionable. 


Pike's experience made it easy for others to distinguish 
the Rio Grande del Norte from the Red River. But the 
position and course of the head waters of the latter yet re- 
mained to be ascertained, and it is a very remarkable fact 
in our geographical history that, although the Red River 
has been known to Europeans and their descendants for 
three full centuries, is it only within the past fifteen years 
that its sources have been satisfactorily ascertained and 

Meantime, the Missouri had been traced to its home, 



the Mississippi had been made to yield up the mystery of 
its origin amidst a labyrinthine network of lakes and lake- 
lets — the Columbia had been pursued through its bends 
and over its falls and quicksands, to the lakes and moun- 
tains that gave it birth, and the Colorado of the West was 
followed with infinite pains and labor and great danger, 
through deep canons and fearful chasms, to its cradle in the 
Sierra Nevada. 

Still the Red River kept the secret of its birth, and dur- 
ing the long years of Spanish and French occupation, little 
or nothing was known of it beyond the point where Natch- 
itoches now stands. 

The first regular and official attempt at its exploration 
was during the early period of the French Colony, some- 
what more than a hundred years ago, when officers were 
sent out by the French government, about the year 1760. 
to make and report a survey of the river. 

It is probable they had no adequate idea of the length 
of the river, nor of the magnitude of their task. 

Such rivers as the Seine and the Rhone — the largest 
they knew at home — would fill but small space in our 
maps, and scarcely reach the dignity of geographical bap- 

A survey of from three to five hundred miles in length 
was probably counted upon — a thousand miles, with the 
then existing topographical knowledge of the country, would 
certainly have been an extravagant estimate. 

As now ascertained, the Red River, measured by its 
meanders, has a length of 1600 miles from its mouth to 
Preston, Texas, and from Preston to the sources of the 
main branch, 500 miles, making a total length of 2100 

The French expedition referred to appears to have pen- 
etrated no further than the country then occupied by the 
Natchitoches and Caddoe Indians, in the vicinity of the 
present town of Natchitoches, say about one eighth of its 
whole length. 


The treaty with France, by which we gained the so-called 
colony of Louisiana, was ratified in October, 1803, and 
the immense domain, stretching from the Mississippi to 
the Pacific, and far exceeding in area the territory of the 
United States as then organized, was added to our country. 

In settling the terms of the treaty, it was remarked to 
Mr. Monroe by the French negotiator, that they knew but 
little more of the greater part of the country ceded, than 
was known on the day when Columbus landed at the Ba- 

Our young government lost no time in taking measures 
for such explorations and surveys as would give at least 
some general knowledge of the vast regions beyond the 

Captains Lewis and Clarke were selected for the explor- 
ation of the unknown sources of the Missouri. Lieutenant 
Pike was chosen to trace the Mississippi to its rise. This 
was in 1805. 

Early in 1806 an expedition was fitted out with instruc- 
tions to ascend the Red River to its sources, and a party 
of twenty-three, comprising officers, scientific men, and 
soldiers, — constituting the " Exploring Expedition of Red 
River," embarked from a point near Natchez, Missis- 
sippi. On the 3d of May, 1806, they entered Red River 
with the intention of ascending in their boats to the Paw- 
nee country. Here they were to leave the boats, procure 
horses from the Indians, and proceed — for so ran their 
instructions — to the top of the mountains, the distance 
being, as was supposed, only three hundred miles. 

The impression was evidently general that the Red River 
rose in the spurs of the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. 
The expedition naturally encountered serious difficulties 
and discouraging obstructions in the navigation of that 
most crooked and intricate of rivers, among the bayous in 
the vicinity of the Great Raft, and, finally, with infinite 
toil and patience found themselves above that formidable 


They had, however, progressed but little beyond it, when 
they were met by a large detachment of Spanish troops 
whose commander ordered them to stop. The exploring 
party was too small to think of resistance, and they were 
thus forced to abandon the enterprise and retrace their 

Thus ended in failure the second organized expedition 
to discover the sources of the Red River and the Arkansas. 

On the first of May, 1806, Lieutenant Pike returned from 
the sources of the Mississippi and found preparations in 
progress for an expedition to the sources of the Arkansas 
and Red Rivers. Of this expedition he took command, 
with what result we have seen. 

In 1819 a fourth expedition was fitted out under com- 
mand of Major Long, having in view, among other objects, 
the discovery of the sources of Red River. 

This expedition ascended the Platte, skirted the base of 
the Rocky Mountains, going south past Long's Peak and 
Pike's Peak, and over the ground where Denver and Color- 
ado City now stand. Crossing the Arkansas and the Rio de 
las Animas, they struck a large stream which the Indians 
told them was (i the Colorado, — the Red River," — and feel- 
ing certain this stream was indeed the long-sought Red 
River, they followed its entire course downwards until they 
arrived at its confluence with a still larger river. Major 
Long thus chronicles the arrival : — 

" September 10th, 1819. — We left our camp at the usual hour, and after 
riding eight or ten miles arrived at the confluence of our supposed lied 
River with another of much greater size, which we at once perceived to be 
the Arkansas. Our disappointment and chagrin at discovering the mistake 
we had so long labored under was little alleviated by the consciousness 
that the season was so far advanced, our horses and means so far exhausted, 
as to place it be\-ond our power to return and attempt the discovery of the 
lied River." 

The river they had thus descended and mistaken for the 
Red River was, of course, the Canadian, which Major Long 
calculated they must have struck 79 G miles from its mouth, 


making its entire length, allowing for meanderings, one 
thousand miles. " Our journey on it," he adds, " occupied 
seven weeks, travelling with the utmost diligence the 
strength of our horses would permit." 

Thus ended the fourth organized expedition, again in 

Finally, in 1852, another expedition, under the command 
of Captain Marcy, ascended the banks of the river by land, 
tracing its sources (in latitude 34°, 42', longitude 103°, 7', 
10"), to the edge of the Llano Estacado or Staked Plain, 
a vast desert stretching from the 32d to the 36th parallel, 
in places two hundred miles wide — a dreary, barren waste 
of solitude, without tree, shrub, spring, or stream. 

Captain Marcy's report of this expedition is published 
by Congress. 

But long before all these expeditions — before Marcy, 
Long, Sparks, and Pike — before the French officers or the 
Spanish colonists, before Marquette and Joliet (New Orleans, 
1673), before La Salle came to America, — nay, even be- 
fore he was born, — away back, more than three hundred 
years ago, the region of the head waters of Red River 
was visited by Europeans — an involuntary exploring party, 
seeking not the source of a stream, but their way across 
the deserts of Texas. 

The thrilling story of the wanderings of De Soto and his 
command was at first pronounced unworthy of belief, but 
subsequent discoveries have confirmed the original account, 
and make the history of that remarkable march still more 

On the first of May, 1539, there landed at the Bay of 
Santo Spiritu, in Florida, from eleven vessels, a small army 
of one thousand infantry and three hundred and fifty cav- 
alry, resplendent in gilded armor, silken banners, and all 
the pomp of war. 

De Soto, its commander, had left a lovely wife, wealth, 
ease, and dignities, to find and conquer another Mexico. 

The narrative of his long march of three years, fighting 


at every step, through the wilderness that is now Florida, 
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and probably 
Missouri and Kansas, sounds more like romance than his- 

De Soto was the first European who saw the Mississippi, 
and he was buried beneath its waters. 

He had crossed a large part of the continent in search 
of gold, says Garcilaso de la Vega, and found nothing so 
remarkable as his grave. 

At his death in 1542, Louis de Moscoso succeeded to the 
command. Of the brilliant troop that landed in Florida, 950 
men alone remained. Moscoso called a council of officers. 
Having received vague rumors from the Indians that far 
to the west there were other Spaniards roving from country 
to country, fighting and conquering the Indians, he con- 
cluded that they were his countrymen in Mexico, which 
might not be very remote. He accordingly abandoned the 
plan of De Soto of descending the river to the sea, and 
determined to reach Mexico by land. The expedition set 
out in the middle of June. They passed near the Salines 
of the Washita River, where they tarried six days and sup- 
plied themselves with salt. Leaving this region they 
pushed forward, and passed through the country of the 
Natchitoches. At length, after nearly three months, they 
came upon the barrens north of the present inhabited por- 
tion of Texas. 

Continuing the march south of De Soto's route, they 
passed through a tract abounding in buffaloes ; beyond 
which, coming in sight of mountains, they passed a sterile 
region almost uninhabited. Here they halted and sent 
out light exploring parties, who penetrated in every direc- 
tion nearly 00 miles further, and returned with information 
that the country grew worse as they advanced. It was 
now late in October. Three and a half years had passed 
since they landed. Moscoso had but 350 men. 

The discription of the country they saw, passing a ster- 
ile region and coming in sight of mountains, would appear 


plainly to indicate the desert of the Llano Estacado, for 
from a large portion of it the Mexican Mountains are dis- 
tinctly visible. 

The particulars given in a more recently discovered nar- 
rative — that of Louis Hernandez de Biedma (1544) lately 
brought to light in Spain — go very far to confirm the as- 
sumption that the remnant of De Soto's army was actu 
ally on the Llano Estacado. 

Here is the language of the chronicle : — ■ 

" When we set out we travelled twenty-seven days in a westerly direc- 
tion to the province of Chariti (Washita), where the Indians made salt. 
From there we went in three days to the province of Agracez. 

" The Indians told us here that the country beyond was a wilderness and 
uninhabited; that to find villages we must go to the south east. . . . 
The Cacique of Mendocho gave us a guide to conduct us through the coun- 
try. He led us accordingly into a wilderness, and when we got there he 
told us that his master had ordered him to take us to a country where we 
would die of hunger." * 

The guide was torn to pieces by blood-hounds. Moscoso 
held a council of officers to decide their future movements. 
It was resolved that they should return to the Mississippi, 
carry out the original design of De Soto, and descend 'the 

With toil, suffering, and loss of men they did so ; and 
the surviving remnant, floating down to the Gulf on such 
boats as they could construct, succeeded at last in reaching 

Although I have never seen it stated that De Soto's men 
ever penetrated so far southwest as Llano Estacado, I feel 
satisfied that there are many reasons for believing that they 
actually were upon it, in full view of the Mountains of New 
Mexico when they turned to retrace their steps to the Mis- 

The main features of the short narrative above given 
indicate distinctly that Moscoso's command passed from the 
Washita country, by the Red River region, to the summit 

l See, Historical Collections of Louisiana. Part ii., 1850. Also, Gentleman 
of Elvas. 


level of the Staked Plain, the approach and ascent to the 
highest part of which, from the east, is so very gradual as 
to be almost imperceptible. 

Game is abundant throughout Texas except upon this 
dreary waste, and accordingly it was selected by the Indian 
Cacique as the country where the Spaniards would die of 

Again, the mountains seen by the Spaniards could only 
be the Guadalupe Mountains or those of the Sacramento 
range, for these, in approaching New Mexico from the east, 
do not come in sight until you have traversed fully one 
third of the breadth of the Llano Estacado from east to 

Whether we consider the immensity of territory trav- 
ersed by this Spanish expedition, its smallness of force as 
compared with the numerous populous tribes through which 
it passed, the number of battles fought, the difficulties 
and dangers of an unexplored wilderness, the obstacles and 
dangers overcome, the time (three and a half years) em- 
ployed, and the unbending perseverance displayed in the 
face of ceaseless discouragement, this march of De Soto 
and his men is certainly the most wonderful on record. 


The first Lieutenant of the Anglo-American troops, of 
the name of Z. Montgomery Pike, with the party of sol- 
diers under his command, having been met with the troops 
under my orders, at four days' journey from the seat of 
government, in this province which is under my charge, he 
was required personally to appear, which he voluntarily 
did ; and complying with the orders of the commanding 
general of these internal provinces, I bid the said lieuten- 
ant proceed on his march, with his party equipped with 
horses, provisions, and equipage under the charge of an 


officer and sixty men of our troops, with orders to introduce 
him to the said commanding general in the town of Chi- 

I permitted said party to carry their arms and ammuni- 
tion, actuated by proper considerations, and in order to 
grant said Anglo-American's petition. I certify the fore- 
going contents to be accurate. 

(Signed) Joachim R. L. Alencaster. 

Santa Fe, March 3d, 1807. 


Wlikinson's bulky and diffuse published memoirs may 
be searched in vain for any information concerning Pike's 
expedition, and his silence on the subject is, to say the 
least, suggestive. 

Of his complicity with Burr but little doubt is now en- 
tertained, and proofs are not wanting of the existence of 
his designs upon Mexico, from the period of his note in cy- 
pher to Governor Gayoso de Lemos (February, 1797), and 
his dealings with Nolan, down to the conspiracy of 1806. 

It has been stated that Wilkinson himself planned the 
exploring expedition of Pike, in order to obtain for his own 
purposes a more perfect knowledge of the country, and 
that he availed himself of his official authority to have it 
ordered by the Government. 

The " Mississippi Herald" of September 15, 1807, pub- 
lished the affidavit of Judge Timothy Kibby, of the Louis- 
isiana Territory, acting Chief Justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas, for the district of St. Charles. 

The affidavit sets forth — 

" That in confidential conversation, the General (Wilkinson) speaking 
of Pike's Expedition, upon inquiry, replied, smiling, that it was of a secret 
nature, and that Lieutenant Pike himself was not apprised of the ultimate 
object of the expedition, but that his destination was Santa ¥6, treating 
with the Indians as he advanced. 


" He (Wilkinson) intimated that Lieutenant Pike had been dispatched 
by his orders, that the plan was his own, not emanating from the Govern- 
ment, but assented to." 


Nota de lo occurrido ultimamente en esta Provincia del 
Nuevo Mexico. 

El 15 de Febrero dos Indios de la Nacion Iuta apresaron 
y me presentaron un Anglo- Americano, joben de presencia 
fina, a qnien oy y aim hice comer con migo para asegurarmi 
si era conio pense en instruccion y crianza. 

No le crei, y sospeccboso de que no venia accompanado 
de la clase de gente que me afirmo, emplee la poca Tropa 
y alguno Paisanos en Partidas que no solo encontraron un 
primer Teniente con seis Soldados en un excelente retrin- 
cberamiento construido en el Rio de los Conejos cerca del 
principal del Norte a dos jornadas del Pueblo de esta Pro- 
vincia, acia el mismo rumbo, y venciendo las dificultades 
de la nuicha nieve se verified recojer el Sargento y Cavo 
de la misma Partida y hasta el total de trece Soldados que 
la completaban dos de ellos con los Pies elados y perdido 
la maior parte de los dedos. 

El dos de Marzo ultimo se presentd el referido Teniente 
nombrado Mongo-Meri-Paike con seis hombres de su 
partida, y el 18 el resto de ella; sin resistencia alguna com- 
binieron en la intimacion que se les hizo de que estando 
en mi terreno era indispensable se me presentarse y lo ver- 
ificaron con sus annas, asegurandoles que en nada serian 
tratados como Prisioneros, sino que con arreglo a las or- 
dines del Comandante General deviar pasar a presentarsele 
y darle razon puntual de su comision. Me manifestd la 
instruccion del su General Wilkinzon, un diario y Piano 
exacto en Borron de todos los Rios y terrenos que havia 
reconocido, y colocado todo en su cofre previmiendole con- 
servasse la Have le encargue al oficial que le conduce para 


que no se volviesse a abrir sino en presencia del espresado 
Com te G'ral. 

De lo espuesto y de quant oy al primer apresado Robin- 
son y al citado oficial deduzco sin dudar que su Expedicion 
desde Julio fue dirigida a amistar dos Naciones bajo la pro- 
teccion de su Govierno, a regular a muchas, y attreher las a 
la amistad, tratto, y Comercio y ponerse a la proteccion del 
Anglo-Americano, especialmente con encargo espreso con 
la Nacion Comanche la mas poderosa de nuestras aliadas : 
Que el Govierno Anglo-Americano cree comprehendidos 
en los terminos de la Lusiana todos los Rios que desem- 
bocan en el Mississippi y los terrenos que abrazan hasta el 
Rio Colorado que tiene su origen a pocos leguas de la 
Poblacion de Taos mas al Norte de esta Provincia, que in- 
tentan en esto afio o el proximo poner fuertes o estableci- 
mientos en los espresados Rios para abrazar todo el tratto 
y comercio con un crecido numero de Naciones que muchas 
de ellas le tienen con esta Provincia. 

La espresada Partida de Tropa Anglo-Americano pasa a 
Chihuahua a presentarse al S. Com te G'ral escoltada de 
Tropa y con sus armas y municiones por el riesgo de 
Apaches de Guerra en el camino que intermedia. 

Con los referidos antecedentes he representado al espre- 
sado Comandante General, recordandole quanto le esprese 
en 4 de Enero el afio anterior sobre la necessidad de pon- 
erse esta Provincia en un pie respectable y de tener fuertes 
y establicimientos avanzados en los principalos rios para 
contener las ideas ambiciosas del espresado Gobierno An- 
glo-Americano manifestandole el estado de miseria e in- 
defension en que se halla y lo encontrara dentro de pocos 
anos el que la mande. 

Santa Fe, 1° de Abril en 1807. 


This was Dr. Robinson, who accompanied Lieut. Pike's 
expedition as a volunteer. He left Pike's party at the 
stockade fort, on the 7th of February, and started alone 
for Santa Fe, where he had some private claims. On the 
second day out he was met by two Ute Indians, who ac- 
companied him to Santa Fe, and, as we have seen, ushered 
him into the presence of Gov. Alencaster. Here is Rob- 
inson's account of his reception : — 

" The governor received me with great austerity at first, and entered into 
an examination of my business and took possession of all my papers. 
After all this was explained, he ordered me to a room where the officers 
were confined when under an arrest. I was supplied with provisions from 
the governor's table. The second day the governor sent for me, — said 
my debtor possessed no property, but that at some future period he would 
secure the money for me. To this I made a spirited remonstrance, &c, 
which had no other effect than to obtain me an invitation to dinner, and 
rather more respectful treatment from his Excellency, who being slightly 
afflicted with the dropsy, requested my advice as to his case." 


AN ACT to abolish and forever prohibit the system of peonage in the Ter- 
ritory of New Mexico and other parts of the United States. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That 
the holding of any person to service or labor under the 
system known as peonage is hereby declared to be unlaw- 
ful, and the same is hereby abolished and forever prohibited 
in the Territory of New Mexico, or in any other Territory 
or State of the United States ; and all laws, resolutions, or- 
ders, regulations, or usages of the Territory of New Mex- 
ico, or of any Territory or State of the United States, 
which have herotofore established, maintained, or enforced, 
or by virtue of which any attempt shall hereafter be made 
to establish, maintain, or enforce, directly or indirectly, the 


voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons as 
peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation, or otherwise, 
be, and the same are hereby, declared null and void ; and 
any person or persons who shall hold, arrest, or return, or 
cause to be held, arrested, or returned, or in any manner 
aid in the arrest or return of any person or persons to a 
condition of peonage, shall, upon conviction, be punished by 
fine not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand 
dollars, or by imprisonment not less than one nor more 
than five years, or both, at the discretion of the court. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the 
duty of all persons in the military or civil service in the 
Territory of New Mexico to aid in the enforcement of the 
foregoing section of this act ; and any person or persons 
who shall obstruct or attempt to obstruct, or in any way 
interfere with or prevent the enforcement of this act, shall 
be liable to the pains and penalties hereby provided ; and 
any officer or other person in the military service of the 
United States who shall so offend, directly or indirectly, 
shall, on conviction before a court-martial, be dishonora- 
bly dismissed the service of the United States, and shall 
thereafter be ineligible to reappointment to any office of 
trust, honor, or profit under the government. 

Approved March 2, 1867. 






















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